The Norman Transcript

Opinion

February 17, 2013

Veteran mortgage banker bullish on Oklahoma

NORMAN — Kent Carter is bullish on the real estate industry in general and on Oklahoma in particular. As president of Citywide Mortgage and a veteran of the Oklahoma banking and finance industry, he has ridden the waves of uncertainty and watched the national headlines.

Oklahoma, he said, never had the big run-ups in collateral. As a people, we are more risk averse. The dust bowl and oil bust contribute to that mindset.

“But oil is strong now. We have a major military presence and our economy did not get overblown,” said Carter. “It’s an exciting time to be in Oklahoma. We’re in great shape. We really are.”

The housing crisis really began with a few metropolitan areas, he said. But national headlines from those big media markets send shivers throughout the industry.

“Twenty three counties gave us more than 50 percent of the initial foreclosures. Just a small pocket took us down that spiral staircase,” he said.

n n n

Citywide, formerly in Norman and now located on I-35 on the north side of Cleveland County, grew 40 percent this past year. They have 22 employees and are planning an expansion. They are a partner company to Ideal Homes and work with other builders, Realtors and individuals in originating loans that are eventually sold to a small group of financial institutions.

Ideal makes up about 20 percent of their business today compared to 90 percent four years ago.

In 2011, they partnered with First American Bank to process real estate loans.

Carter is confident smaller mortgage bankers that have lower operating costs can compete in the market against national lenders.

“People like us are so competitive. We can operate so much cheaper than they can,” he said. “If we go head to head, we most always win.”

n n n

Carter will serve as president of the Oklahoma Mortgage Bankers Association. About 300 of them will meet at the Skirvin Hotel in April. His message to them is an optimistic one.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Help for rural America

    A drive through rural parts of the Southwest can be depressing. For sale and for rent signs are prevalent. Businesses along main streets have closed. Unless they are close to a major interstate highway, many communities are in decline....

    April 23, 2014

  • Embarrassment to Oklahoma, again

    The standardized testing that was halted in local schools Monday is another embarrassment to the state. The same thing happened a year ago and Oklahoma gave them another chance....

    April 23, 2014

  • Time to move on; exit of Sebelius is right choice

    From the moment it became obvious that healthcare.gov wasn’t working, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius became damaged goods for the White House....

    April 23, 2014

  • Happy birthday to us

    We don’t expect any cake and that many candles might be dangerous but today is the unofficial 125th birthday of Norman....

    April 22, 2014

  • Hero of Haarlem … for common good

    “Trudging stoutly along by the canal,” as the story goes, the 8-year-old son of a Dutch sluicer was returning home from delivering cakes to a blind man. Humming as he passed the dikes, he noticed that recent rains had made his father’s job ...

    April 22, 2014

  • Hate without end

    The news that a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan is suspected of shooting and killing three people near Jewish community centers in Kansas seems at first glance like a disparaged past flaring briefly into the present. Americans like ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Reform is necessary

    Editor, The Transcript: Last year, the legislature passed laws reforming the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, which was a good start, but more is needed. Recent media reports have revealed that the ODVA employs M.D. and D.O. ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Keep your brain cells

    Editor, The Transcript: Hey kids. Four centuries ago, Shakespeare wrote about life’s seven great adventures. I forget his exact words, but they were something like this: 1. Our birth; none of us can remember it, but never the less, it is ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Don’t let moderation confuse you

    Jeb Bush’s recent compassionate comments on immigration show how far apart he is from the far right of the Republican Party....

    April 20, 2014

  • Priest’s execution should spur action

    In the hierarchy of saints, martyrs are on the highest rung of the celestial ladder, at least for me....

    April 20, 2014