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Monthly Archives: September 2019

Employee Spotlight – Amanda Aaron

Amanda Aaron, Vice President of Lending | Leander Branch Amanda is the Vice President of Lending at our Leander Branch, specializing in SBA and commercial lending. Her expertise and personable skills allow her to guide clients through the entire lending process, making them feel comfortable about what to expect during each stage of acquiring business loans. Amanda believes the ability to make a customer feel comfortable about what’s to come is invaluable. Maintaining an active role in the community, Amanda is a member of CREW Austin, CTAGGL (Central Texas Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders), Little League, and the ILDS School Board. Through CREW, Amanda had the opportunity to lead the outreach committee in supporting local charities such as Saint Louise House. Amanda says making an impact in the community at any level makes her feel proud. Amanda and her family enjoy camping, hiking and taking advantage of the outdoors whenever possible. In fact, she hiked the 27-mile trail around Lake Georgetown in one day when her now-husband proposed to her at the 16.6-mile marker – a memorable journey! Amanda’s dream vacation is anywhere she can see undisturbed nature from the porch, drink her coffee, and no schedule is required. Amanda Aaron, NMLS #1819235

Welcome BACK Mick Donohoe!

Mick Donohoe rejoins SouthStar Bank’s Leander Branch as Senior Loan Officer, bringing two decades of experience in lending and assisting borrowers with their dreams of homeownership. Mick’s expertise in mortgage lending allows him to identify the best loan option for his clients and guide them through the process. Mick Donohoe NMLS #298987

Welcome Kristy Hollis!

Kristy Hollis joins SouthStar Bank as Assistant Vice President and Branch Operations Manager at the Round Rock Branch. A professional in the finance industry for 17 years, Kristy enjoys providing banking solutions for clients throughout the community. Kristy looks forward to building lasting relationships and providing exceptional service in her role at SouthStar Bank.

Gonzales “Come and Pull It” Tractor Pull

The Gonzales Branch of SouthStar Bank recently contributed to the ‘Come and Pull It!’ Truck and Tractor Pull as an event sponsor. The event took place over three days at J.B. Wells Park. All proceeds went to the Gonzales Elks Lodge and Gonzales Junior High Athletics. Along with the truck and tractor pull other event activities included a 5K Color Run, Jalapeno Poppers Cook off, and a BBQ and Chili Cookoff. This annual event has become a tradition for the citizens of Gonzales. The Gonzales County Area Go Texan hosts the pull every year. The Come and Pull It! Truck and Tractor Pull is a lively and fun-filled event, SouthStar Bank enjoys supporting and cheering on all of the participants. Click here to learn more about the “Come and Pull It” Tractor Pull. JB Wells Park Expo Center, CO Rd 197, Gonzales, TX 78629

Employee Spotlight – Alexis Michael

Alexis Michael, Senior Vice President, Branch Executive, Regional Credit Manager and SBA Director | Leander Branch A part of the SouthStar Bank family, Alexis Michael works at the Leander Branch as SVP, Branch Executive, SBA Director and Regional Credit Manager. She enjoys building relationships with her clients and being a true partner. For the past 12 years she has been a full time commercial real estate and SBA lender, still partnering with a number of current clients whose loans she closed over a decade ago. It brings her joy to watch the businesses grow and expand, knowing that she helped play a role in their success. Alexis served as President of the Austin chapter of CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) in 2017. She joined CREW in 2009, and this organization holds a special place in her heart. She feels blessed to have been elected and serve as the Austin chapter President leading the 150+ member chapter. An active family, the Michael’s enjoy any and all coastal activities. Alexis is originally from the gulf coast of Florida and wants to visit as often as she can. Her family loves to go offshore fishing, shark fishing, crabbing, boating, pretty much anything that involves the salt air. The ideal vacation for Alexis is going big game fishing in the Caribbean with my family. Alexis and her husband used to run a martial arts school. She is a 1st degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and a Sibak Black Belt in Kajukenbo, however she hung up her belt 5 years ago after her last daughter was born. Her husband still trains daily and keeps trying to get Alexis back involved. For the past 15 years she has served as an AWANA Director/Leader at her church. Many of those years were spent teaching the kindergarten class. Recently she moved to 3rd and 4th grade classes, and is now serving as a Sunday school teacher for the 4th and 5th grade. She enjoys seeing the children grow in their faith. She is also actively involved in Round Rock Christian Academy children’s school. She currently serves on the Board of Director’s and is the Treasurer of the Parent Support Team (PST). Alexis Michael NMLS#790782

A Quick Start Guide to Buying Land and Building Your Custom Dream Home

Buying a home is a significant financial step for many Americans. While new master-planned communities and existing homes offer trendy upgrades and many other benefits, they all lack one thing – complete customization. When buyers look to custom build their homes, the only limits are their imagination and project budget. They’re free to design a home that fits their personality and lifestyle. However, building a custom home instead of purchasing an existing home or buying from a community builder requires careful planning. Unsure of where to begin? Use this step-by-step quick start guide to build your custom dream home with confidence. Step 1: Secure a bank pre-qualification to uncover your loan options. If you’re hoping to finance the custom build of your next home, you won’t be able to use a traditional mortgage. Unlike conventional home mortgages where the home serves as collateral, custom-built homes are usually set for construction on unimproved property. Therefore, you must work with a financial institution that offers lot or construction loans. A lot loan, construction loan, or construction-to-permanent (C2P) loan allows you to pay for the land only, construction only, or both. Depending on the loan type, borrowers have the flexibility to fund the construction portion of the build at pre-determined completion checkpoints. The loan can then be converted into long-term permanent financing (mortgage) at closing.  These loans are unique and not offered by many traditional mortgage companies.   Step 2: Identify your perfect parcel of land. A real estate professional with experience in rural properties can help you quickly identify your purchase options. Their expertise can also alert you to special considerations such as: Septic systems; Agricultural exemptions; Homeowner/landowner association building timelines; Rainwater harvesting systems vs. water wells; and Deed restrictions. Before you start your search, note your ideal parcel location and include your preferences for such items as utility connections, trees, and ponds. As you narrow down your selection, make sure you’re comfortable with any applicable building restrictions or setback requirements for the lot.  Step 3: Find an architect to design your home.                         An experienced architect can create construction plans and define a project timeline. A full-service architect often works with home buyers from concept through completion. Costs can either be hourly or a fixed fee based on a percentage of the construction costs. It’s also possible to be charged fees based on the completion of each building phase. Step 4: Choose a builder for your custom dream home. To find a competitively priced builder that meets your needs, look for those that will bid on the architecture plans. Find qualified builders by seeking referrals from real estate professionals, architects, and mortgage loan professionals. Step 5: Select a community bank that offers construction lending. Borrowers can secure financing with the same community bank that provided the pre-qualification figures or with another lending institution.  In either case, building a relationship with the lender is vital. The stronger the relationship, the better the overall experience will likely be from project beginning to end. A […]

Employee Spotlight – Adriana Alvara

Adriana Alvara, Business Development Officer, Steiner Ranch Branch Adriana completed her bachelor’s degree at The University of Texas at El Paso. She is new to the SouthStar Bank team and is looks forward to developing in her current role.  Adriana is an active member in philanthropic activities, one of her favorites is work with the local food bank and packaging meals for families on Thanksgiving. Her community outreach also includes membership with The Young Hispanic Professional Association of Austin as well as a board member of the El Paso in Austin Network, both organizations focus on raising scholarships for students. Adriana enjoys many hobbies during her free time. She is adventurous and loves being outdoors, she often finds herself scuba diving, hiking and backpacking on trails and mountains. A sports enthusiast, she participates in basketball, Gaelic football, running, and golfing. Adriana has a passion for travel. Her idea of a dream vacation would be on a beach or in the mountains where there is no service and she can unplug.

Congratulations Amber Gallagher!

Amber Gallagher was promoted to Assistant Vice President and Commercial Loan Closing Coordinator at SouthStar Bank. She will continue serving the lending and closing needs of the Steiner Branch location. Amber’s been in the banking industry since 2005, starting as a Personal Banker in Operations and moving her way up into Lending. She handles a broad range of business, from agriculture and commercial loans to mortgage financing.

Welcome Harold Copher, Jr!

Harold Copher, Jr. brings over 20 years of finance experience with his new role as Senior Mortgage Loan Officer at SouthStar Bank’s Falconhead Branch. Harold served as a residential mortgage officer and branch manager in the DFW area. Fulfilling the dream of many Texas Exes, Harold and his wife Pat relocated to the Austin area in 2017. He believes education and communication are key to helping clients purchase a home with ease and success. Harold Copher, Jr. NMLS #239295

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