Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 4
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors

Advertise in Town Topics

Iris Interiors

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Weather Forecast

It’s New to Us by Jean Stratton

FINDING FUNDS: “We take an overall look at things. We’re really more like a mortgage consultant than just a lender. We help people find the best plan for their needs and situation. We take a personal interest in the clients and their goals.” Scott Kelsey (left) and Thomas Gates are partners in the Mortgage Master Princeton branch office.

Mortgage and Loan Expertise and Guidance Is Now Available from Mortgage Master, Inc.

A first mortgage, re-financing, a home equity loan — all of these can be complex, daunting procedures, especially to a first-time buyer or one who is just simply not aware of the inner workings and fine points of banking, finance, and loan applications.

“It’s really nice if someone holds your hand throughout the process,” says a homeowner who recently refinanced a first mortgage. “It makes a big difference.”

Certainly, having someone on your side to see you through the project can relieve some of the accompanying anxiety. This has always been the goal of Mortgage Master Inc, which opened a Princeton branch office at 215 Nassau Street last August.

Founded in 1988 in Walpole, Mass., it has grown to become one of the country’s largest privately-owned mortgage companies, consistently lending more than $3 billion each year.

Direct Lender

“In the year ending 2010, the company closed 17,000 loans and $5.5 billion in total volume; in the past two years, it closed 35,600 loans and $11.1 billion in total volume,” reports Scott Kelsey, senior production manager and branch manager of the Princeton office.

The company has offices in several states, including four in New Jersey, and is a direct lender that utilizes its own funds to initiate and close loans. Its aim is always to obtain mortgages at the lowest possible rates and costs, while providing superior customer service.

Do you need a loan for a home purchase? Lower interest rate? Home equity loan? Debt consolidation?

And what kind? Fixed rate mortgage, adjustable rate? 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed rate? 3-year adjustable? The options go on and on.

Mr. Kelsey and his partner Thomas Gates can help you find a path through the thicket of confusion!

Large Array

“We offer a very large array of products, pricing, and rates. Our deals are very well put together, points out Mr. Kelsey. “We have a history of lots of volume and cleanliness of the deals we do. Refinancing mortgages is an important part of the business. We also do reverse mortgages. They can work well for the right client, and are a good tool for some people.”

A former professional hockey player, Mr. Kelsey has been in the mortgage business since 1998, when he moved to Princeton. The opportunity to open a Mortgage Master branch was an exciting prospect, and he and his partner Tom Gates were ready to take on the challenge.

“This company has a long-standing reputation. We are not a cookie cutter mortgage company. We focus on residential mortgages, and we try to do this very well. We want to put each client in the best product and at the lowest rate for their needs. We give very individualized service, and we have a wide variety of clients.”

“I enjoy the opportunity to offer a vast array of different types of loans,” continues Mr. Kelsey. “We deal with so many different clients — from first-time buyers and newly-weds to Fortune 500 people. We are very interested to work with every gamut of American society. And we are pleased with the growth opportunities the company offers, and the way it has survived in a tough economic environment, when many other private mortgage companies closed.”

Complex Process

Mr. Kelsey points out that obtaining a mortgage or loan is a more complex process than it was just a few years ago. “The challenge now is helping the client realize that getting the loan will be a more complicated and lengthy process. We try to advise everyone in the transaction — attorneys, bankers, real estate people, etc. — that it is much harder to get a mortgage today than previously. It takes longer; there is more involved.”

A prospective client’s income, assets, credit rating, and overall debt are all taken into consideration. A client must have an income level sufficient to pay back the loan.

Involvement in the Princeton community is important both to Mr. Kelsey and Mr. Gates. “We like to find people who have connected themselves in the community. Business comes to us from former clients, referrals by professionals in the area, such as attorneys and real estate people,” says Mr. Kelsey. “My partner Tom grew up in Princeton, and is very active in the community.”

Both men are encouraged with the success of their office. “From October through December, since we opened, we have closed $40 million to $50 million. We take a very personalized approach, and offer excellent service to clients. Of course, you have to pay close attention to every detail.

“We have seen great growth opportunities, and we have an incredible company behind us. We look forward to growing this branch, and we have some very good momentum.”

Hours are by appointment. (609) 454-3482. Website:

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