In 2005, with only a few years of mortgage experience under my belt and two boys under the age of two, I was determined to find a different way to do mortgages. At the time, I could not find a mortgage broker or mortgage banker shop that I felt aligned with my values. It became clear to me that if I was going to DO this mortgage thing in a way I liked and wanted to be a part of, I was going to have to start my own little company. We lived across the street from Salmon Bay Park in Ballard, and once I began working within my immediate community my business began to flourish and thus a company was born. Now, I realize there is an actual bay called Salmon Bay, but I named my little trail blazing company after the park – the Salmon Bay Community – that trusted in me and let me do loans while nursing babies, honing my craft, and creating a bright and unconventional office to serve my community.
That first office was down by Golden Gardens, in a room over Anthony’s Home Port, complete with oyster pictures and a fishy aroma. From there we began to grow. The only hiccup was I seemed to make people at the same rate that I hired them and thus – office #2 was 2/3 office, 1/3 nursery. We were a group of moms banded together, figuring out childcare solutions and defining Salmon Bay as a family-oriented mortgage shop that was independent and vibrant. Together, we survived the 2008 housing industry crash. Our reputation grew in our community and as the babies got bigger and transitioned into pre-schools, the growing team took over the space. I felt so blessed to have fabulous and innovative people join the team.
Over the next few years, we grew into a larger space and had the opportunity to work with many amazing people. The growing shop also came with exponential compliance requirements and the writing on the wall was clear – it was time to switch from mortgage broker to mortgage banker and get the support of a larger shop. In May 2020, Salmon Bay Community Lending became Salmon Bay Community Lending A Division of Evergreen Home Loans. Evergreen has been in business since 1987, and as a company they are dedicated to the same values of transparency and respect as we are.
Our existing office is now located on the corner of 80th and Greenwood, in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood. As our business has evolved over the past twelve years, we’ve introduced new technologies along the way, I got to see with new eyes the complexity of mortgage education and the importance of deliberate and consistent communication. This most recent transition was a wonderful opportunity to fine tune our practices and take our flow to the next level, letting us shine as the dedicated mortgage professionals that we are. The Greenwood office is pretty darn colorful and fun, and we’re all very clear that supporting our community, our families and ourselves is what we’re here to do. Yes, we do home loans, but that’s the easy part. The purchase or refinance mortgage transition that we help you with is so much more than that. It’s a vehicle for education and support. A way to help you see possibilities that you might not have seen, and to find a strength in yourself to move through real estate, and life, with grace and courage.
I’m having more fun doing this crazy job than ever before and truly love each person on my team. Together we will continue to shapeshift the mortgage industry by changing the mortgage experience to one of true empowerment and celebration.
Wishing you health, happiness, and the home of your dreams,
Ruby Grynberg, Branch Manager