As a self-proclaimed knowledge seeker, Easton Crafts makes it his personal business to create an educated consumer base at Directions Equity Home Loan.
By: Christian Reed-Ogba // Photography: Jason Roberts
Easton Crafts. Yes, that is his real name – and it’s completely indicative of the type of super-hero mortgage lending professional he is, as the owner of Directions Equity Home Loan.
Born in Brownsville, Crafts has lived in San Antonio since the age of 8. He loves this city, and he has literally watched the Center City and Hill Country real estate markets evolve into flourishing meccas for new businesses, families and legislation.
When it comes to mortgages in San Antonio, as an entrepreneur, Crafts makes it his personal business to create an educated consumer base. And from our conversation, it’s evident that he knows what he’s talking about.
“I like people to be educated,” he says, “so that whenever they step into the arena of getting a mortgage loan, purchasing a home and getting a very good understanding of rates, [they know] how the interest rate markets are moving and what moves the market.” Crafts himself is a self-proclaimed knowledge seeker who reads quirky news and uses that information to bring interest to conversations with everyone.
“Texas is our sandbox that we get to play in,” he says. “There’s so much business [in Texas] that there is no need to lend out of state.” Crafts feels honored to have been so well received for so long – 17 years, to be exact – and he has made it his mission to provide well-rounded service to his clients.
According to him, “We’re in an industry that has undergone so much change.” And he’s right: In recent years, the mortgage lending industry has been blamed for the world economic meltdown. But Crafts doesn’t dwell on apologizing. Instead, he continues to provide great information on how policy changes and a growing list of dos and don’ts affect buyers and lenders.
“Texas was one of the last states to allow for home equity loans,” Crafts says. That’s a very conservative outlook for such a fluctuating and load-bearing industry, especially compared to states like California and Florida, where borrowers can acquire up to 125 percent of their home’s equity. This type of lax legislation led to many states getting hit hard by high foreclosure rates. He says that specifically in San Antonio, business growth, low unemployment rates, educated consumers and past and future legislation reform have attributed to the smaller effect the national failures of mortgage lending have had.
Honesty and teamwork are among his core values. Crafts and his business partner, Marc Spitzer, launched in 2008 with only one team member (who still works with them in their new roles as a leading mortgage loan company). “There is a big trust factor in our team,” Crafts says. “There is the belief that they are going to get done what our client needs to get done.”
Crafts compliments his team’s open-communication approach in problem-solving: “If and when we see issues on a certain file, our team immediately voices them and we work on them together.” And from the traffic of processors and underwriters in and out of his office, he’s very devoted to making sure every possible question about a loan is answered.
He says that in the end, when they’ve made up their mind to purchase a home, most buyers aren’t worried about housing market trends. Borrowers want their questions answered; they want fair and unwavering service, and Directions Equity Home Loan offers that. While rates and fees aren’t necessarily going to alternate if you take your business to a large bank or a private lender like Directions Equity Home Loan, at the end of the day, it boils down to quick closing time and continued personal access to your lender. Where large banks may take up to 90 days to close a loan, Crafts stands by his average timeline of less than a month.
Crafts’ success story is intertwined with family. His appreciation for learning no doubt came from his parents, who were both teachers. And his dedication to his business is backed by his wife, Rachel, who works alongside him as the office manager at Directions Equity Home Loan. “From the selfless hours she puts into animal rescue work to the amount of charismatic involvement into our son’s [Noah’s] development, she makes me want to strive for the highest level of productivity.”
In the coming months, Crafts is looking forward to more regulations in his industry – some he’s sure will spark dozens of questions and some he’ll be discussing on a trip to Washington, D.C. Serving as the government affairs chair in the local chapter of the National Association of Mortgage Professionals, Crafts will educate members of Congress on the types of qualified mortgage borrower regulation and fee caps that would benefit the economy.
He and Directions Equity Home Loan are also continuing their support of the Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin and San Antonio and of San Antonio Pets Alive!
For more information, contact Easton Crafts at firstname.lastname@example.org or 210-257-0642, or visit www.directionsequity.com.