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Broker offers mortgage options for homebuyers

Jim Emerson

Mortgage broker Jim Emerson left the big city - and "industry turmoil" - behind to lend his expertise to those seeking home financing in the Park Rapids lakes area.

Emerson, who began vacationing on Big Sand at the age of 6, said son Kaelan motivated his and wife Shari's decision to migrate north.

The family, he said, wanted to return to the small town environment.

Emerson brings 22 years' experience to his role as a Team USA mortgage broker. His career began in California in 1987 with Transamerica. He moved to Minnesota in 1990 to open the first Transamerica branch in the state.

He was hired by Investors Bank to initiate a lending division for high-risk loans. After the company's buyout in 1996, Emerson decided to become an independent broker.

While working from his Plymouth office, he'd become "connected" to banks in the Park Rapids area, he said, and opened an office here in 1997. Headwaters Mortgage remained in business until 2004.

Two years ago, having had "too much of big cities" and the mortgage industry in mayhem, the family moved to Park Rapids.

"I switched direction," he said of brokering high-risk loans.

Emerson now works through Team USA Mortgage to offer lending "for anyone needing financing for a home." He works with the Veterans Administration and the Federal Housing Administration. Emerson offers Rural Development loans, conventional loans and home equity loans, working with 40-plus wholesale lenders to offer "numerous options."

A software system, he explained, sends him to "the best rates within minutes."

And if a client is waiting for a drop in lending rates, he will request notification, and, in turn, inform the prospective homebuyer.

Emerson is currently working from home but plans to move into an office. He may be reached at