Archive for December, 2015

What does the Fed Funds Rate increase mean? …by Randy Cullen

December 18th, 2015

blog picAs expected, the Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate by 0.25% for the first time in nearly a decade. The Fed also stated it will continue to move rates up gradually while taking into consideration “readings on financial and international developments” as to not hurt the economic recovery.

The mortgage bond markets, as well as the stock market, were not directly affected by the Fed move. What we did experience over the months leading up to the move was a reaction based upon fear of what the increase would mean. The markets always react to fear and adjust based upon reality. Now that the action has been taken, the stock and bond markets should settle in until the next monetary shoe drops. Keep your eye on the global economy – there are many factors that move the markets and money is always in motion.

– Randy Cullen, NMLS 326128



Please join us in proudly saluting Fairway’s MMA award winners … by Barb Crea

December 11th, 2015

blog pic 12.11.15It is with great pride that we acknowledge two valued members of our Fairway team who were honored this week at the Minnesota Mortgage Association Holiday Luncheon and Honor Program. Please join me in proudly saluting Fairway’s award winners: Carrie Guarrero ( , Loan Officer of the Year;  and Andrea Rodriguez ( , Operations Professional of the Year!

Carrie Guarrero is married to Pastor Dan and the mother of seven. She is Outreach Director of the Village in Waterville, and the highly successful and professional Producing Branch Manager of our Waterville Branch. She has been a beacon of light in our industry for the past 19 years coaching and mentoring a variety of business professionals, helping them achieve greater success. Carrie is dedicated to helping others and is involved in a multitude of fundraisers and outreach programs, including occasionally preparing a Christian message to preach at her church. In addition to being a top producer, Carrie has served on both the Mortgage Bankers Association and the Minnesota Mortgage Association boards with heavy involvement in education including writing the curriculum for The Emerging Markets Homeownership Initiative.

Andrea Rodriguez is married to Marco and mother to Melanie and Antonio. As Loan Officer Assistant and Client Coordinator for The Kate Wilson Team, Andrea wears many hats in our office.  In addition to providing “Rock Star” level support in our Bloomington office, she lends caring support to her large extended family in the area. Andrea is also a very involved member of the Church of the Risen Savior. Along with currently serving as Secretary of the Latino Commission and just finishing a year as Stewardship Commission Chair, she is involved in Ministry Fairs, leads the Sunday School Program during Spanish Mass, and is currently working on their Our Lady of Guadalupe Annual Festival, which is being held this evening where they will serve dinner to over 1,200 people.

I also want to congratulate the other award recipients:  Underwriter of the Year, Denise Law – Mortgages Unlimited; Affiliate of the Year – Todd Bushy , Essent Guaranty; Title Closer Officer of the Year – Kelly Gilbertson, Trademark Title;  Non-Profit of the Year – Ed Nelson, MN Homeownership Center; and Lifetime Achievement Award – Robert & Diana Carter, Summit Mortgage. We have such an incredible group of individuals in this industry, always willing to put their heart and soul into helping Minnesota consumers achieve the American Dream. Congratulations to ALL Minnesota Mortgage Association 2015 Honor Winners!

Members of the Minnesota Mortgage Association are united by their desire to increase the levels of education and professionalism in our industry, and to connect Minnesota consumers with the mortgage loan that is appropriate and affordable for each unique situation. MMA’s mission is “To promote unity, strength and ethics in the Mortgage Industry.” More information on the Minnesota Mortgage Association can be found at

As we hunker down on these long winter nights preparing for and enjoying the sights and sounds of this wonderful holiday season, please take a moment and pause to give thanks to the amazing people in your life, and for all of the unbelievable opportunities bestowed upon us.

CONGRATULATIONS to all of this year’s winners – Well done!

Barb Crea, NMLS 310389


A holiday “Thank You” to our business partners, clients, and friends… by Randy Cullen

December 4th, 2015

Randy's treeThere has been a long standing tradition that our Fairway Branch Christmas party takes place the first weekend of December. We have tried a number of venues over the years, but nothing brought more joy to Kate than opening up her own home and inviting everyone to a home cooked meal. Kate is a master of everything she does and cooking is no exception.

When Kate decided to back away from her daily mortgage origination role to live on a lake in Waterville, she shifted the day to day operations of the business to me. Kate saw opportunity in her southern lakes city so she bought a building and opened a store called Pastimes of Waterville. It is full of local craftsmen’s wares great for this gift giving season – your Christmas shopping will not be complete without a trip to Pastimes! The building also houses our satellite mortgage branch opened earlier this year. Since 45 minutes outside of the city is a little too far for most folks to drive, we shifted the holiday party from her home to mine. The tradition goes on, only the location has changed!

A couple of weeks ago I started getting all the decorations out of my storage room and placed around the house in preparation for the party. My oldest daughter, with such a creative eye, spends a whole day putting everything together for me. Every ornament, bow, and ribbon is carefully placed on the tree, which is truly a work of art!  The theme is spread throughout the rest of the house – and yes, everything has glitter on it to help achieve the sparkle of the season!

This annual holiday event is our way of saying “Thank you” to our business partners and friends. We all work in harmony throughout the year to make the dream of homeownership a reality for our clients.  We take time to celebrate with our friends, who are Realtors, Builders, title service providers, appraisers, insurance agents, home designers, bankers, marketing services, mortgage insurance providers, members of our state housing finance agency, our loan officers, all of our wonderful branch staff and several local corporate staff who work remotely here in the metro. As you can see, so many people are involved in a single real estate transaction and many of them do not get the thanks they deserve. This is our opportunity to say thanks for everything they do that helps make the home buying process a success for our clients.

Throughout this holiday season, take time to give thanks for everyone in your life. You may be surprised at all the people who work together with you to achieve success, whether in life or in business. In our business, it truly does take a village. Behind the scenes everyone has a part to play as we conduct our way to successful closings and happy clients – that is our goal each and every time.

My thanks to everyone that makes our business so meaningful – we work with an amazing group of professionals! To them and to all of you, from everyone at the Kate Wilson Mortgage Team: Kate, Randy, Barb, Kim, Tracy,  Andrea, and Shannon – thank you and have a joyful holiday season!   – Randy Cullen NMLS 326128