Mike Larsen is much more than a branch manager of the Castle & Cooke Mortgage’s Park City location; he is also an ambassador to the city.
In a recent Park Record article, Larsen discusses his passion for the Park City area and how he is able to share that with many of his clients. Most of the mortgages the Park City office facilitates are for out-of-town buyers looking to purchase a second home.
Read The Park Record article below:
Castle & Cooke Mortgage has found a home in Park City
Mike Larsen knows Park City is not like everywhere else.
To him, that’s part of the allure. And, as the branch manager for Castle & Cooke Mortgage’s Park City location, he’s made a career out of helping others who are drawn to the lifestyle Park City offers.
Park City’s differences compared to the rest of the company are never more noticeable than in the mortgage business, Larsen said. For instance, most of the mortgages he facilitates are for people looking to buy a second home, rather than living in town full-time.
“Nobody understands what that’s like until you come here and try to do a deal,” he said. “You run into unique property, unique borrowers, unique situations all the time. We’ve had to build our business on being able to supply the product that this town needs because of its uniqueness.”
Larsen opened the branch about three years ago, though he’s been in the mortgage business since 1993. One of the most rewarding aspects of his job is helping people achieve their longtime ambitions of owning homes in Park City. For many who own second homes here, it’s validation for a lifetime of hard work.
“That’s a real benefit of the job,” he said. “People that come up here and are looking for a house that this community offers, it’s a big reward for them. A lot of them are conscientious, and they’ve gotten to where they are because of that. And it’s fun to work with somebody that’s excited about being able to be part of this community.
It’s a reward, versus just, ‘We’ve got to find a house.’ People are very excited.”
Ambassadors to Park City
Being a sort of ambassador to Park City for many of his clients is also a perk Larsen enjoys. Often, he and the town’s Realtors are the first Parkites his clients come to know. He said it doesn’t take long for his passion for the area to shine through.
“We’re the locals here, their connection to Park City,” said Larsen, who has lived in town since 1983. “And a lot of people begin immediately asking questions, which is fun because I’ve been here so long, and I know so much about the town.”
Park City’s Growth
Being in the mortgage business has also lent Larsen a distinct vantage point on Park City’s growth. He’s gotten to know many of the people who have come to Park City in recent years and has witnessed how their perceptions of the town have changed.
“We thought it was just blowing up when we moved here in 1983,” he said. “And now that we’re watching what’s happening now, we just had no idea. But at the end of the day here, so many good things have happened that it’s hard to complain. More shopping, more restaurants, more people visiting — it’s a happening place.
“But everybody, literally, has a perspective, whether they’ve been here for a year or two or for much longer. There are people who have been here nine or 10 years, and they’re going like, ‘Aw, it was so much better then, back when we first moved here.'”
Making the Dream of Home Ownership Possible
Larsen admits the actual business of lining up financing for homeowners can be difficult, and sometimes fraught with frustration. But that makes it all the more rewarding when the final result is a pleased customer who is ready to buy their dream home.
“It’s a process that can have some bumps in it,” he said. “So when you get through the process, you just want to be able to celebrate it. You’ve delivered and the customer is happy with you.”
And that has been happening more and more for Larsen’s branch. Getting the branch off the ground took a lot of legwork, but three years later, it is operating largely how he envisioned it. He is eager to seeing how the business grows in the coming years.
“We’re kind of to the point now where we’re pretty comfortable for this market,” he said. “I’ve done enough business up here over the years that there’s no way you can cover it all. You just have to take where your strengths are.”
Castle & Cooke Mortgage has seven Utah branches serving homeowners locally. Find a location near you.