Monte, Patrice, Naomi Grace, and Buddy

Physically Fit

Whether you’re on top of your game or sitting on the sidelines, we all know that physical fitness is key to a strong mind and body. As if that weren’t enough, for Fox45 News anchor Patrice Sanders and her husband MBS Fitness Lab CEO and founder Monte Sanders, physical fitness can also be credited with bringing them together. Patrice, a 27-year veteran news anchor, had a regular segment on Fox45 News called “Up to the Challenge” where she would venture into the community to take on a variety of difficult tasks. After Monte’s appearance on Baltimore’s Fox affiliate to discuss his work as trainer for Baltimore Ravens football greats Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, Patrice was challenged to see if she could get through a workout that Ray or Ed would do. Rather than taking it easy on her, Monte ensured that Patrice went through the entire workout without cutting corners. Did she make it through? Yes, she did! Furthermore, not one to be intimidated, Patrice hired Monte as her trainer, and the rest is history. Now, eight years into marriage, Patrice and Monte are both glad she took that challenge. “He’s very motivational, but he doesn’t let you slack off.”

Financially Fit

Slacking off has no place in the Sanders’ lives. As a successful dual-career family with a young child, fitness, in more ways than one, helps keep them going. While it may have been physical fitness that brought them together, one thing that helps keep them together is the fact that Monte and Patrice team up for financial fitness, as well. To stay financially strong, they take careful steps to plan their future, especially with big purchases like a home. They patiently searched for two years for a house to call home. When they could not find what they were looking for, they decided to build one instead. Yet, neither was familiar with the ins and outs of a construction loan. So while Monte’s ability to turn mush to muscle and Patrice’s journalistic prowess makes them experts in their respective fields, they reached out to mortgage experts to guide them through the process of funding their exciting new venture. Their excitement quickly turned to frustration, however, with the lack of help they were getting from those “experts.” After contacting several lenders, they found lack of responsiveness to be a major concern. That all changed when their realtor, Pat Komiske, recommended a loan officer from his Bible Study group.

Focused Yet Friendly

Brian Atha, with the Ritter Mortgage Group, was different. Responsive, knowledgeable, personable, and willing to go the extra mile, Brian not only presented multiple loan options and explained their differences, but he also ensured the Sanders’ loan closed promptly without any major hiccups. Monte explains that Brian was “responding the same day, sending emails about what we talked about, and sending video emails about questions we may have in the future. Even if they [other loan officers] came with the exact same deal, we would have gone with Brian because of his timeliness and his response to our questions. He also educated us along the way.” Patrice adds, “It was seamless. He made the whole process extremely easy.”

Fostering a Future Relationship

Aside from his professionalism, Brian’s personalized attention made a big difference. “This was a big purchase for us – a big decision,” Patrice describes, “The construction part of it was new to us, but it was also very exciting, and Brian approached it that way. It felt like he cared and was excited for us. We weren’t just another client. It wasn’t like – get your paperwork done and move on to the next client. It didn’t feel like that at all.” Monte adds, “He also called us while he was on vacation. That let us know how much he cared.” Patrice and Monte had always planned to refinance out of the construction loan into a permanent loan. Brian had promised to stay on top of rates, keep in touch, and let them know when it was the right time to refinance. “He checked in with us daily whether they [rates] went up or whether they went down. We never felt like we were in limbo. That customer service part was the best for me. He would be like the Chick-fil-A of customer service. He made our experience pleasant.”

Friendly Wager

True to their competitive nature, Patrice and Monte made a bet. Monte had insisted that they could get their new mortgage payment below a particular number, but Patrice disagreed. So much so that when Monte wagered, “If we get below that number, you can never question anything I say again,” Patrice’s reply was, “I’ll take that bet because that’s not gonna happen.” Monte happily reports that with the hard work of Brian Atha, mixed with faith, he won the bet. In reality, Patrice won, too, as did their 6-year-old daughter, Naomi Grace. They were all thrilled to move into their new home just before COVID hit, giving them plenty of time to enjoy it. And, as if that weren’t enough of a happy ending, recently joining the family is Buddy, their 8-week-old Yorkie puppy. Monte was awarded “America’s Favorite Trainer” in 2017 and 2018. He and Patrice would concur that Brian should win “America’s Favorite Broker in 2020.” “It is our goal to keep a relationship with Brian as long as we have a house because that’s just how much he did for us, and we appreciate it.”