CapCenter has been helping people experience the American dream without going broke for the past two decades.
The Richmond-based mortgage lender expanded to Virginia Beach in April with a new office at 272 Bendix Road.
CapCenter specializes in home-buying services with zero closing costs by eliminating fees and offers VA, FHA, conventional and jumbo loans. Since it started in 1997, it has closed on 35,000 loans.
Tedd Aurelius, head of marketing and advertising, said the company’s tagline, “Let’s find a better way home” encapsulates the work they are doing.
The company began from one man’s vision and desire to do things differently. Gary Piacentini, a lawyer by trade, was working in commercial real estate when he saw all the different hands involved in a closing.
“I thought it was an unwieldy mess,” Piacentini said of the system that includes real estate agents, banks, title companies and law firms. “I wasn’t sure who was in charge of watching out for the client.”
He thought about being able to control the experience from start to finish.
“I thought what if I could get the client to come to me first, hire the different services and sync them up. They would have a better experience,” Piacentini said, noting CapCenter is one company and one team with loan consultants, in-house lawyers and agents all working for a salary rather than on commission.
With nothing more than an idea, CapCenter became a reality. And people who use it are talking.
“It’s grown over the years to be the second biggest lender in Richmond,” Piacentini said. “And that’s been almost all by word of mouth.”
Ninety-five percent of the company’s business is based on referrals. Piacentini said they treat people like they do within a law firm; they are client-centric.
“We went through the mortgage crisis completely unscathed,” Piacentini said. “A lot of lenders were out of business and so we kept growing.”
Growth has been organic along with the addition of talent. And the growth has led to the Hampton Roads expansion.
“It was natural to move here,” Piacentini said. “We wanted to duplicate what we did in Richmond.”
As a mortgage lender, Piacentini said CapCenter makes its money through the interest earned on the loans. When they are hired as both the realty and home lending team combined they earn the realtor’s commission of 3 percent.
The best way to get a glimpse at what CapCenter does is to go to CapCenter.com.
James Anderson, market manager for the Hampton Roads location, said whether buying a home or refinancing, prospective clients can get an instant quote. And it’s completely anonymous.
“They can get a feel for what they can do,” said Anderson. He said his six-time use of CapCenter’s services for his own home buying and refinancing speaks for itself.
“The biggest impediment to buying a home is coming up with the cash,” Piacentini said. “We make it easier by coming up with the closing costs. It’s really hard for people, going through life, saving money, having a job, keeping good credit and coming up with a down payment for a house.”
That’s a sweet spot for the average middle class family and millennial.
“It’s fantastic and rewarding to help families buy a home or refinance,” Piacentini said. “And it’s free.”