Fannie Mae vs. Walker & Dunlop (underwriting)

capedcrusader's picture
Rank: Chimp | 11

I am currently weighing post undergrad job offers to start summer 2017. I'm choosing between Fannie Mae Multifamily underwriting analyst (2 year rotational development program) and Walker & Dunlop HUD underwriting analyst (NOT a development program). I've gotten mixed feedback from mentors.

Looking for some experienced opinions on the better decision for my long-term career outlook. Just for context, both positions are competitive in pay and benefits with minor advantages in both.

Comments (12)

Apr 7, 2017

I work for a third party underwriting firm that does contract work for various DUS lenders including W&D. I think they are both probably excellent starting gigs. Personally, I would go with the Fannie offer. Our shop does strictly FHA/Fannie/Freddie UW and I prefer Fannie. Their UW methodologies are a little more relaxed and its a little more critical thinking involved. The HUD side is not bad either but it is the most antiquated of the three. I think they are going to have big year based on our current pipeline. There is a lot more paperwork and BS to go through than the agencies. If you would like to remain on the underwriting side as a career I would go Fannie but if you would like to switch to origination eventually both options are good.

Apr 8, 2017

whats the salary like for both the positions? give us a range like 60 plus, 70 plus, if not an exact number. And is Fannie's program in the DC area?

Apr 9, 2017

Fannie is in the DC area with 60+ and sign on bonus. W & D is in the baltimore area with 50+ and sign on, with annual bonus potental

Apr 8, 2017

I know some underwriters at Hunt making 120+bonus. Not bad. Far better than I thought. Top producing UW's at Hunt are hitting almost 200k a year.

Apr 8, 2017

I worked at Freddie Mac and then at a delegated shop, Wells Fargo. The culture will probably be better at the delegated shop (slightly less bureaucratic, probably a "cooler" bunch of people), but I'd still go with Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae is the 800 lb gorilla in the multifamily originating space--FNMA sets the rules. Work there for a few years and you'll pretty much be set (you'll be able to work anywhere else that services Fannie Mae). Plus, Fannie Mae is like Freddie Mac in that if you just stay there you will get promoted into a pretty senior level role within 10 years. Pretty much any competent person who simply squats with FRE or FNMA for a decade will be making well into the mid-6 figures.

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Apr 9, 2017

Some additional info: I'm using this starting gig as a learning experience and leg up into the industry. Eventually I want to go for a grad degree in commercial real estate development, sit with a top firm like JBG for a few years and start out on my own with buying and eventually developing properties.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to give thoughts. Much appreciated.

Apr 9, 2017

My peers tell me that they don't like Fannie's culture, but Fannie is so big you can't really base decisions off anecdotal experiences. Baltimore we know is well...Baltimore....Sorry, but does Baltimore even really have a 'real' real estate industry?

Fannie is also under conservatorship, so it cannot go bankrupt - risk free money to you essentially.

DC is a nice area. Fannie will expose you to securitization in many ways and help you follow industry trends.

Apr 10, 2017

My bias is obvious here because I work for a DUS lender. I would definitely choose the Fannie route over HUD. The HUD people in my office go through 10 times as much paperwork, and close far fewer deals. It is just much more of duplication of forms and work to get something done through HUD. I can echo what everyone else has said about Fannie - they make the rules. They are a highly stable career option that pays well, and you will have plenty of exit opps down the road if you choose to do something else in the multifamily sector. On top of that, I was just in DC this week in the Fannie offices for a training conference for a new financing program they offer - it is a beautiful area, and incredibly convenient if you don't own a car.

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Apr 10, 2017


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Apr 14, 2017

I would go with the FNMA offer 1) Name recognition. Any DUS shop would love to hire you when you decide to leave 2) HUD UW is a pain in the ass

Apr 15, 2017

Fannie - without a doubt. You'll be able to go to your pick of any DUS lender in two years. It's an excellent way to start out a real estate career and to have that brand on your resume (especially if you want to stay in the GSE lending space). Background: I learned underwriting at Freddie Mac earlier on in my career. I think you'd get similar experience.

Aug 5, 2019