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Roswell, N.M.'s loss of mortgage bank is Oklahoma City's gain

PrimeSource Mortgage Inc., wholly owned subsidiary of publicly traded PSM Holdings Inc., considered Dallas and its traffic but a year ago chose to relocate to Oklahoma City — and executives were surprised by the city's friendliness.
by Richard Mize Modified: July 20, 2013 at 6:00 pm •  Published: July 20, 2013

PrimeSource Mortgage Inc. is no alien to growth.

Expansion in its birthplace, downtown Roswell, N.M., left the firm in a squeeze for space last year — office space, not outer space — and a need to be closer to a major airport.

It came down to Dallas or Oklahoma City, said Jeffrey Smith, president and CEO of PrimeSource, wholly owned subsidiary of publicly traded PSM Holdings Inc. — ticker PSMH.

He said Oklahoma City won out because PrimeSource, founded in 1994, has a long-standing partnership with American Southwest Mortgage, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bristow-based SpiritBank — and because of Dallas traffic. PrimeSource's headquarters are in Founders Tower, 5900 Mosteller Drive, Suite 3.

“Honestly, the traffic in Dallas scared us to death,” he said.

Oklahoma welcome

At midyear, the company had more than 170 employees in 24 offices in 15 states, with plans to expand to several others. Ten worked in the corporate office in Oklahoma City, with an eventual 15 planned.

“Overall, we've been so excited and refreshed by the friendliness of the people,” Smith said. “We're excited to be here. We're excited to grow.”

Six employees made the move here from Roswell, which has about one-tenth the population of Oklahoma City — or just 5 percent of the metro area. Smith wasn't the only one surprised to feel so welcome.

“The people in Oklahoma City have been incredibly warm and excited to get to know us. The biggest surprise to me when moving here was the friendliness of everyone when considering the size of the city,” said Crystal Havez, vice president of lending services. “Everyone we meet is excited to hear where we have moved from and is quick to offer any assistance that we might need in getting settled.”

PrimeSource's slogan, “We Walk You Home,” is also its website — www.wewalkyouhome.com — and Smith said it reflects a corporate approach similar to what executives have encountered in Oklahoma City.

“Because the mortgage process is so complex, we have chosen to walk hand-in-hand with each client through the entire process,” he said in an investor presentation. “This assures our customers of world-class service from their first encounter through the closing and even beyond.”

Banking on reform

PrimeSource is a mortgage bank with its own warehouse lines of credit, which is short-term revolving credit drawn on to extend mortgages. It offers conventional, government-backed and jumbo mortgages and refinancing. “Strong warehouse capacity,” Smith said, is backing the company's expansion plans.

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by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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