I AM A WORK AT HOME MOM AND PROUD OF IT!
By Diane St. James, Copyright 2003/All Rights Reserved
I am a WAHM and proud of it! After all it took me long enough to
I started a website while still commuting 100+ miles/day to my
mortgage underwriting job near Philadelphia, PA. I came up with the
idea nearly 5 years ago out of a desire to help people understand
mortgages better and guide them as to the best type for them. Let me
back up a little. I have spent the last 10 of my 22 years in the
mortgage business as an underwriter. What is an underwriter? To put
it plain and simple, it is the person who approves or declines
<gulp> your mortgage.
Through the years I've seen too many people get into a mortgage that
wasn't right for them, just because someone talked them into it. Also
I've seen people paying more in mortgage points or closing costs than
they really should have. By the time I got a file, it was just my job
to make a decision on the loan. It had always been too late for me to
tell the borrowers this wasn't really the best thing for them.
So I thought about what I could do to help people outside of my day
job and turned to the Internet. I set up my unique mortgage
consulting website to be 'different' from the other mortgage websites
out there in cyberspace. People who come to my site looking for
mortgage rates, won't find any! I am not a mortgage broker, (even
though there are a few links on my site for those wanting to check
out mortgages). I started out offering live on line consultations and
then added personalized written reports since people have such busy
lives! A quick questionnaire and they'd have their answers.
My day job was keeping me swamped though, and it was to the point
where I was constantly bringing work home evenings and weekends.
Weeks turned into months, and months into over a year of so much
work, my poor girls were forgetting my name!! Not really, but they
might as well have. I worked so much, and my website suffered for it,
not to mention my family! Talk about your guilt trips! The sad part
is, my children were growing up before my very eyes. How many
times do we all say that? At that point in time when my oldest turned
12 I realized she was going to be a teenager soon and where had I
been?? Stuck with my face in yet another loan file.
So three years ago after I had been working in an office environment
most of the last 22 years, and doing that long commute for 2 years,
in order to make the big bucks (and make it I did), I informed my
boss that I was offering to do my job at home. After all I had a
computer, phone and fax machine and my brain...what else did I
need? She turned me down of course, which I could have predicted.
So, what did I do? I didn't logically say "Just thought I'd
go back to my desk. I gave my 2 weeks notice and never thought twice
when I walked out the door 2 weeks later. Luckily I have a husband
who supported my decision.
People thought I was crazy since I didn't have another job waiting
for me but I was determined to make family my priority and be there
for my girls. At least this way I will have more memories of the last
years of their childhood.
So what happened? I'm doing great! I picked up some work doing post
closing audits part-time in the first few months. Then that first
winter I wrote my first e-book How to Get a Mortgage; filled with
vital tips to save borrowers headaches and money! I publish a
great mortgage e-zine called Diane's Mortgage Tips + Other
Tidbits and have just under 5000 subscribers now. I've also expanded
my website services to include telephone and email consultation,
and have added helpful web pages like First Time Homebuyer
Programs, Real Estate Agents and Lenders Listings, and a full page
for Work at Home Resources since I believe in it so much! Oh, I
almost forgot to mention. Remember how I wasn't allowed to
underwrite at home? Within 7 months of ending my long
commute I was back to underwriting, but this time at home!
I've been a busy WAH Mom!
My girls? Well, my older daughter is now 15 and heavily involved in
dance and loves the fact that I can be there to watch when parents
can visit. And my youngest has been on a softball team the last three
years when before that I would not have been home in time to take her
to any of her practices! When either of my kids are sick, they know
they can stay in bed and have Mom wait on them hand and foot, then
slip out to 'work' in the room next door. I actually can volunteer at
their schools once in a while and dinner is never after 7:00 pm anymore!
Looking back, I know this sounds so cliché but I honestly
can say the
only regret I have is not having done this 10 years ago.
Diane St. James is a mortgage professional with over 23 years
experience. Her website http://www.abcmortgage.net exists to help
educate people about the mortgage world. She is the author of 2
e-books, and has been quoted in the WALL STREET JOURNAL,
appeared on national cable new television CNBC, and was featured on
a Cover Story for USA