Photos by Kenny Richard Photography
One event Natalee Davenport looks forward to each year is the Children’s Advocacy Center’s annual Bubbles and Bags fundraiser. This year, as she looked around at the 600 local women in attendance, each one a mover and shaker in Dallas and Rockwall Counties, she could recall positive experiences with many of them. As a longtime resident herself and branch manager of Service First Mortgage, Natalee has impacted many of their lives and many of them had impacted hers. “I saw my son’s third-grade teacher,” she said. “I saw Realtors we’ve partnered with for years. There were women who I’d helped secure their first mortgage and children I’d watched grow up and then helped get their first mortgage, too. It was a good feeling to remember so many encounters and relationships.”
It’s like that when you’ve spent years partnering with the community like Natalee has. More recently, she’s been riding out the crazy fluctuations in the housing market with the rest of us and offering a voice of reason and perspective. This ain’t her first rodeo. “We were all amazed at the buyers’ market last year with homes selling in hours, over and above the asking price,” she said. “It was unprecedented. Now, the Fed has stepped in trying to combat inflation and interest rates have doubled since March 2022.”
Natalee spends her days reassuring clients there’s a silver lining to the Fed’s manipulation of the economy. “In the eyes of the Feds, the only way to avoid inflation is with higher rates to fuel the economy,” she said. “The good news is it’s working. Inflation rates are starting to come down and with it interest rates will come down, too. That sellers’ market has turned into a buyers’ market. Rather than selling in a day, houses are sitting on the market creating a surplus and sellers are willing to make all sorts of deals.”
That includes making repairs, covering closing costs, and accepting lower offers on their homes. “People tell me, ‘I’m going to wait until rates drop again’,” Natalee said. “But that’s not a good idea. Instead, we recommend they buy the house they want now at a great price and then come back to us to refinance at a cheaper rate later. Marry the house. Date the rate. Rates are absolutely going to go down, but home prices will only go up. Get a good house now and get a good mortgage rate in a couple years.”
Service First Mortgage even offers a Rate Protection Program that’s pretty amazing. “If you get your mortgage from us, we’ll refinance you for free for up to three years,” Natalee said. “We wave all our underwriting fees and processing fees and even pay for your appraisal. That’s the kind of thing we can do because we’re locally owned and operated but part of an award-winning national company. We also offer our 321 Buy Down.” (See side bar for details.)
For Natalee and the Rockwall Service First team, there are few things as exciting as working with first-time buyers then helping them again when they’re ready to upgrade or acquire investment properties. “The icing on the cake is when we can then turn around and help their children buy their own first home, too,” she said.
Natalee loves any chance to brag about her team of loan officers. “Most mortgage teams have one or two top producers,” she said. “Fifty percent of our team is in the Service First Mortgage President’s Club. I take zero credit for that. They love our clients and work hard to give them the best service and products they can. Most of our team has been here for years and they just love empowering our clients to make savvy financial decisions and develop smart financial habits.”
In fact, Natalee is currently recruiting a select few team members that want to make a difference in their careers. If you’d like to be a part of a company The Dallas Morning News listed as one of the top 100 places to work in Texas, find out more at SFMC.com. “We’re extremely selective about who we hire,” Natalee said. “But we’re also excited about plugging the right people into the right training and opportunity, so we can have even more President’s Club members on our team.”
Service First Mortgage is all about giving back to our community. They were the Children’s Advocacy Center’s top-tier Champagne Shuttle Sponsor again this year, sponsoring events and giving of their time and finances to see that the youngest members of our community receive the support they need and deserve. “Our mission statement is to deliver a better home financing experience by being an innovative, principle-based company of highly trained professionals,” Natalee said. “We want to be America’s best home lender, building stronger communities through meaningful lending. And we’re excited to meet and have the chance to invite a select few to join our hometown team. Find out more or get prequalified at SFMC.com.