Debbie Siegel’s Story
I didn’t plan on becoming a mortgage broker with a specialty in serving newly divorced women. In fact, I didn’t plan on becoming a mortgage broker at all.
But when I graduated from college in 1995 with a business degree, I was accepted into the training program of Transamerica – at the time, one of the country’s largest financial service companies. I learned a lot over the next couple of years and, because I was living at home, I was able to save a lot of money.
One day, over Thanksgiving, I got to talking with my aunt (she was a financial planner) about moving out and finding a place to rent on my own. She explained to me that rather than renting, if I were to purchase a multi-family home, I could earn some rent to help cover the mortgage and begin building some equity. It was scary doing it on my own (I always assumed I’d wait until I got married to buy a home), but it made sense.
And so the following week I walked into a local bank and applied for preapproval on a mortgage. I had great credit and a fair amount of savings – enough to offset a relatively low income and some remaining student loan debt. I was approved! Six months later, I bought a two-family home in Newton (I still own it).
Unfortunately, over the next few years working for various financial companies, I became disillusioned with the way most mortgages were sold. Each company had a handful of products; the objective was to push one of those products on whomever came through the door, regardless of how well it fit.
I began to realize that didn’t work for me – I wanted to work at finding solutions to people’s problems as opposed to the other way around. And so in 2000 I left to start Westchester Mortgage (named after the street I lived on).
Eventually, I recognized another need – that of divorced and newly divorcing women who need help in buying or refinancing their homes. And so today I specialize in helping these women understand their options and make financial decisions regarding the homes they live in. As a result, they are able to make educated decisions and establish their own financial independence.