By KATHRYN BASSETT kbassett@kpcmedia.com

AUBURN — DeKalb County native Steve Hostetter said he is excited for the opportunity to provide a mortgage company dedicated to DeKalb County at the new Auburn location of Bailey & Wood Mortgage Lender, 265 Duesenberg Drive.

With corporate headquarters in Whiteland, Bailey & Wood is a family-owned mortgage lender founded by D. Mike Wood, who has been in the mortgage industry for more than 20 years. After serving in many different roles through the years, he set out to create a mortgage company in 2007.

The DeKalb Chamber Partnership hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house at the new Auburn branch Thursday.

Now with 10 locations in Indiana, Bailey & Wood recently was recognized as “Indiana’s Top Workplace” among small businesses through The Indianapolis Star. That was one of the things that attracted Hostetter to the company.

“They really focus on their employees and their clients,” Hostetter said. “We call ourselves ‘the hometown lender.’”

Bailey & Wood delivers great fees and rates, along with fast processing of mortgages, Hostetter said.

“We advertise and promote our two-week turn time, which in the mortgage industry is very fast. … The clientele, I wanted them to be able to have a fast, easy local process,” he said.

“The mortgage market right now and housing market in general, it’s moving very fast. There’s a real shortage of homes on the market, and so it’s a very competitive market. Homes are going off the market in a day. Turn times are very fast. For me, I saw a real opportunity that there’s no mortgage company in Auburn. And people like to work locally. When I saw no mortgage company, fast market and a company that can close fast, to me it was a no-brainer to open a location here in Auburn.”

A 2002 graduate of DeKalb High School, Hostetter went on to attend Manchester College. After college, he began his career in the mortgage industry. About three years ago, he and his family moved back into DeKalb County.

Hostetter said he plans to be very involved in the community and that the company believes in giving back.

“Part of giving back is that we have a Hometown Heroes program,” Hostetter said. Hometown Heroes offers reduced closing costs for military members and veterans, first responders, medical personnel, nonprofits, educators and school employees and government employees, Hostetter explained.

Joining Hostetter at the Auburn branch is licensed sales assistant Jathni Richards of Garrett. A loan processor will join the office staff soon, Hostetter added.

“All we know are mortgages. And so that’s our primary focus,” Hostetter said of the company. “If you’re wanting to buy a home, and have it go as smooth as possible, I would recommend working with a mortgage company.”

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