Not only does Rick Hodges provide great mortgage advice, but he’s also the go-to guy for advice on your next trip to New England. With experience as a top-producing Realtor and with record referrals as a loan officer, Hodges is trusted by his clients to know the ins and outs of both sides of the transaction. So it’s no wonder that Hodges is a sought-after home loan expert by both first-time homebuyers and families seeking the perfect vacation escape.
That’s the kind of value you can find in the home loan professionals at Guardian Mortgage. Naturally, Hodges was a shoo-in for our April Guardian Angel at Guardian Mortgage. When you work with one of the lending experts in this hometown brand, you’ll find energy, expertise, and the willingness to go above and beyond even in the most challenging market conditions. That fits Rick Hodges to a tee!
We were lucky enough to catch up with Hodges before he runs off for a summer in Nantucket. Jump to find out more about this month’s Guardian Angel.
CandysDirt.com: The path for every career is different for everyone — how did you find your want into the mortgage industry?
Rick Hodges: I was a multi-million dollar producing Realtor for eight years and liked the finance side of the transaction. I had a lot of insight to the needs of the buyer and the fears of the Realtors, which has enabled me to meet the needs of both groups.
CD: You are a top producer at Guardian. In fact, we hear your nickname is the $600 Million Man. To have a successful track record like that, you clearly must know a thing or two about working with a variety of homeowners. How do you approach each new client opportunity whether they be a first-time homebuyer or a vacation homebuyer?
RH: Yes, I’ve been lucky and I work very hard — I anticipate going over $800 million this year in my career with Guardian. I view each new client as “an opportunity to help guide someone.” It really does not matter if it’s your first or fourth home purchase — it’s always stressful and my job is to take some of the stress out of the transaction. I do that by listening to what my customer needs and what they are concerned about, and then I suggest a plan of action to take them where they want to be.
CD: Although Dallas is your home, we know you have strong ties to Cape Cod. What are some of the things about that area that continue to draw you back time and time again?
RH: My family has been going to the East Coast for more than 20 years. At first, the big draw was just a desire to leave Texas in July. Cape Cod is in the low 70s in July compared to 100-plus degrees here. Now it is the sense of small-town America and family. My son has spent summers on Nantucket Island every year since he was 6 months old. We have friends from Boston that come to the island the same time we are there and have been in the house next door to us since my son was 4 years old. The boys have fished, biked, and sailed around just about every nook and cranny of the island for the last 13 summers. It’s a great place for families with kids — no fast food chain restaurants or stop lights, just a few stop signs in town and two duck crossings. Nantucket has great beaches and a long and rich history.
CD: So for any traveling Texans, where do you recommend they go when visiting Cape Cod – where are the best places to eat and the must-see venues in the area?
RH: My must-dos are for you to go to a daytime Red Sox game around July 4th and eat hot dogs with your kids. (Yes, they taste differently there than at the Rangers games.) Then, drive down to Hyannisport and eat at Cooke’s seafood restaurant, where you can see where President Kennedy grew up. From there you can take the ferry over to Nantucket Island or Martha’s Vineyard and spend a weekend, a week, a month, or the whole summer. Of course, I think Nantucket is the best place to be. There is a wonderful restaurant for the grown-ups by the name of The Summer House, which offers some of the best seafood in New England. There are many other top-notch, locally owned and operated restaurants, a ton of art galleries, the Nantucket Whaling Museum and the second oldest operating lighthouse in America at Brant Point.
CD: Aside from your time spent traveling to the Cape, what other types of activities do you enjoy participating in around Dallas and Fort Worth with your family?
RH: My son plays lacrosse and rows crew, so we go to a lot of the local lacrosse games and regattas. I like both the Kimbell and the Dallas Museum of Art, so it’s always enjoyable to see the new exhibits when they come to Fort Worth or Dallas. Also, we spend a lot of time fishing, grilling, and just relaxing at Cedar Creek Lake in the spring before it gets too hot.
CD: 2015 is being called “The Year of the Return of the First-Time Homebuyer.” What advice do you offer any potential first-time homebuyers?
RH: Find a Realtor and mortgage lender you feel you can trust, and do your homework now before you even start looking. When you find the home you want to buy, there will likely be other people that want to buy the same house. You need to feel comfortable that your agent and lender know what they are doing, because there is a 95 percent chance that you are going to have to place an offer at or over list price and be ready and able to close in just a few weeks. If you don’t feel you trust their advice, then you are not going to follow their suggestions and probably won’t have your contract offer accepted by the seller.
CD: What drives you to do what you do every day?
RH: I love the company I work for and I love what I do. That’s the reason I’ve been with Guardian Mortgage for 20 years. I have a lot of repeat customers and they trust me. Sometimes I’m working with them again for the second or third time, or their kids or just someone they referred to me.
No matter which reason it is, I know they are calling me because they know they can trust me to help guide them in financing their new home. If they are going to trust me with that, I’m not about to let them down.