Banking & Finance and Real Estate

Churchill Mortgage opens Grand Rapids branch

April 15, 2013
| By Pete Daly |
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Churchill Mortgage opens Grand Rapids branch
Radio personality and author Dave Ramsey, left, and Steve Vanderwey, who heads the Grand Rapids branch of Churchill Mortgage. Courtesy Churchill Mortgage

Churchill Mortgage of Brentwood, Tenn., which is active in 26 states and the only lender endorsed by radio personality and author Dave Ramsey, has announced it will open two Michigan branches, one in Grand Rapids and the other in Okemos.

The West Michigan branch will be at 1600 E Beltline Ave. and will be headed by Steve Vanderwey, while his brother, Evan, will head the Okemos branch.

Longstanding Grand Rapids presence

Prior to Churchill, both were advisors for Cornerstone Wealth Partners in Grand Rapids and were co-owners of Cornerstone Home Loans here for more than 14 years.

Both are licensed mortgage loan originators, registered investment advisors, members of the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association and certified workplace trainers through the Dave Ramsey program.

The brothers are graduates of Calvin College, and Steve Vanderwey has worked in the Grand Rapids finance industry for about 20 years. He is a member of the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors and Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce.

Steve Vanderwey said Cornerstone Home Loans was a preferred provider of leads on potential borrowers to Churchill since 2009, with the leads from West Michigan to Churchill increasing as Ramsey’s program continued to increase in popularity. Churchill has been a sponsor of the Ramsey radio program for many years, according to Vanderwey. Ramsey and Churchill are based in the same city in Tennessee.

Vanderwey said Cornerstone Home Loans name is now dormant, since the firm became an actual branch of Churchill a year ago. He said there has been a “huge volume” of business since the brothers began their partnership with Churchill, so establishment of a Churchill branch here in West Michigan “was almost inevitable.”

Change in the mortgage industry

Vanderwey said the market for home mortgages now is “very strong,” both on refinances and new purchases, “with mortgage rates still between 3 and 4 percent. There is a lot of demand by people looking to refinance and save money.”

“There are some really good deals out there on homes,” he added, with home values “still a little under the peak of 2006 and 2007.”

Vanderwey said their mortgage business is now split 50-50, evenly between “refis” and home purchases, noting that a couple of years ago, refis were as much as 80 or 90 percent of the mortgage business across the U.S.

The Churchill office in Grand Rapids is the same location Cornerstone Home Loans has had for years, at 1600 East Beltine.

Grand Rapids staff

To support the Churchill office in Grand Rapids, Christopher DeRuischer has been added to the staff as an assistant home loan specialist, Joshua VanDyke as a loan officer and Maureen Partlo as a processor.

“Our branches in Michigan are instrumental to our commitment to serve the financing needs of the communities in the Greater Lansing area and in Grand Rapids,” said Mike Hardwick, president of Churchill Mortgage. “By recruiting these two teams of mortgage lending experts, we are confident we will continue to help more individuals achieve their goal of owning a home.”

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