Meet Mark West, Mortgage Loan Originator in Our Baton Rouge Office

Meet Mark West, Mortgage Loan Originator in Our Baton Rouge Office

 

For Mark West, a loan originator in our Baton Rouge branch, retirement was great – for a few months. In 2015, after owning and running his own independent mortgage brokerage along with a friend and colleague for 19 years, Mark decided it was time to retire. A lover of world travel since living abroad in England and Venezuela as a child, he embarked on a dream trip to France, Italy, and back to England with his best friend in the world, his Mom.

 

“We had a terrific time, but when we got back, I started thinking that my early 50s was kind of a silly time to retire,” Mark says.

 

He decided he wanted to jump back into the mortgage business and pursued the opportunity to join Gulf Coast Bank Home Loans. Mark already knew a few people onboard with Gulf Coast Bank and liked the culture and leadership. The fact that it’s 0.8 miles from his home in Baton Rouge was lagniappe.

From Selling Homes to Selling Mortgages

 

Mark, a graduate of LSU, studied both finance and psychology as an undergraduate. A natural salesman, he says he always knew he wanted to do something in sales as a career. After graduating college, Mark first jumped into real estate, getting his real estate license “I was not a very good realtor,” Mark says, laughing.

 

But he loved the industry and soon gravitated toward the mortgage origination. He started learning the mortgage loan industry and quickly found a passion for it, moving on a few years later to open up his own mortgage brokerage...

Originating Loans Through the Generations

In his work day to day, Mark says he loves working with clients pursuing new construction loans.

 

“It’s terrific to be able to help people build their dream home,” he says. “Gulf Coast Bank really has one of the best new construction loan products out there.”

 

Our competitive new construction loan program offers fixed rate terms, variable construction periods, and one-time or two-time close transactions for lots of flexibility in borrower options. Plus, borrowers can even use the equity of land they already own toward the down payment of their loan.

 

Mark also works with lots of repeat clients, even helping family members purchase homes through generations. Over the years, he has worked loans for multiple generations within the same family!

 

Leadership, Mentoring, and Loving Baton Rouge

Within his community, Mark has a special interest in supporting Junior Achievement, an organization that educates students about leadership, entrepreneurship, work-readiness and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.

 

He’s also participating in Gulf Coast Bank’s own leadership training initiative for employees called the Next Wave initiative. He is one of 20 people  to be selected for this year’s program. Each month, the group meets to work on projects to help further their personal development in leadership, public speaking, working with clients, interpersonal skills, and more.

 

In his downtime, Mark loves working in his garden, cooking, and spending time with his labradoodle, King George, whom he shares with his Mom. He has loved living and working in Baton Rouge for the last 30+ years.

 

“It’s a small town, but it has plenty of personality and culture,” he says. “I love how there aren’t a whole lot of places you can go here and not see someone you know.”

 

With his travel ‘bug’ feeling currently at bay due to the pandemic, Mark is still dreaming about his recent trip to Hungary and Turkey with a group of good friends.

 

“We tend to get together for big birthdays and travel to various cities abroad,” he says.

 

He is still thinking about where he would like to travel next.

Ready to Build Your Dream Home or Found THE One?

Mark loves working with clients purchasing new construction homes, first-time homebuyers, investors, homeowners looking to refinance, and more! Contact him anytime.