My Story

Tariq Khwaja

LPO Manager

Tariq “TK” Khwaja has many industry honors to his name, including the Five Star Professional Award. Perhaps the most impressive of his recent achievements, however, is being named a “Real Estate Visionary” in CS Modern Luxury’s Summer Men’s Book just this past June—he’s the first lender to have ever been featured in it.

Still, even as the accolades pour in, Khwaja has not lost sight of what got him here. Before getting involved in the real estate industry, he worked for many years in various customer service-based industries, from working in the music business, to serving on the board of a children’s charity, to juggling two different restaurant jobs while paying his way through school. Those experiences helped instill in Khwaja the work ethic, client-first mentality, and grit it takes to succeed in the real estate industry.

Keeping sight of the past while working towards his vision of the future has allowed Khwaja to have great success with clients at all stages of life, from first-time buyers, to savvy, experienced investors, and everyone in between. He credits his music background with helping him develop his impressive math skills, allowing him to quickly crunch the numbers necessary for getting a sense of the daily lives and finances of the individuals he works with, and then using that information to create an action plan with them. His experience waiting tables taught him to keep his eyes on the prize, always keeping the larger goal in mind. That goal? For Khwaja, it’s as simple as continuing to help others on a daily basis. “I have been given so many opportunities in life,” he says, “and by sharing those and helping people achieve the dream of homeownership, while also creating what is the largest asset of 95 percent of Americans, is a dream come true.”

Outside of real estate, Khwaja is as successful a musician as he is a lender. His band has sold out the famed House of Blues in Chicago, and he’s written songs that have made it to radio and TV. He’s been featured in print for his music as often as he has been for real estate. Still, in spite of Khwaja’s multifaceted success, the simple pleasure of knowing he’s helping others remains the most important thing for him. “I have many accomplishments, but my greatest is the joy I give while allowing my clients to achieve their dreams of homeownership,” he says. Even after all these years in the business and all the accolades that came with them, it’s clear that the most important lessons of customer service have remained with Khwaja to this day.

(As published in Chicago Agent Magazine Who's Who section.)

Home-Buying Trends for 2017

| Rising interest rates and expectations of a booming economy drive home purchase decisions.

with a new presidential administration in power, the real estate industry is considering how potential trends—from rising interest rates to deregulation—will impact the housing market in 2017. We asked a few industry professionals for their take on what impact the year to come.

Consumer Confidence

Jeremy Marks, president of Community Lending of America, which has offices across Kansas, points to increasing consumer confidence as one big driver of 2017 trends. “I expect first-time buyers to be a huge part of the market this year,” he says. The Trump administration has promised sweeping deregulation, which may make it easier for new buyers to qualify for mortgage loans. Statistics appear to bear this out: More than half of prospective buyers are first-time buyers this year, up from a third in 2016.1

While home prices are still at historic highs, Marks says the alternatives are pricey, too: “Rents are so high that more people are going to consider buying,” he predicts. And if promises of deregulation come to fruition, “more of them will have the option to buy.

After the Great Recession

Tariq “TK” Khwaja, LPO manager at Chicago-based Evolve Bank & Trust, sees another group that may benefit from potential deregulation: the self-employed. “The reforms instituted after the meltdown era in 2008-9 meant that self-employed borrowers struggled to get home financing,” Khwaja points out.

That said, some segments of the market are still grappling with the after-effects of the Great Recession. “Millennials still have to be taught the true value of home ownership,” he says. “They came of age during an unstable real estate environment, and can be apprehensive about moving forward until they learn more about the benefits of owning versus renting.”

Rising Rates

For years, the U.S. has seen interest rates at rock-bottom levels. That’s been a boon for buyers, who have been able to lock in mortgages at rates below 4%. But it appears the era of low rates is coming to an end: In December 2016, the U.S. Federal Reserve voted to raise the federal funds rate for the second time in a decade, and indicated that two or three rate hikes are likely in 2017, meaning mortgage rates are also likely to be on the rise.

“With rates climbing, people are jumping to buy houses,” says Nancy Sun, owner of Austin, Tex.-based Austin First Mortgage. “Buyers want to buy a house before the rates get too high. People are expecting the economy to grow and more job creation, which means more people, (

"TK" Tariq Khwaja, LPO Manager, Evolve Bank & Trust

Personal Perspective and Approach to Practice or Firm Overview: Purchase focused; Utilizing the many homebuyer programs to help create new neighborhoods and communities nationally. Helping everyday folks like you and I achieve the dream of homeownership.

TK is a 16-year lending veteran, and vivacious character on the national mortgage scene. He has been a top salesman and in management for companies such as Ameriquest Mortgage and Countrywide Home Loans, along with a few select others. He has found his true home with Evolve Bank & Trust and has been letting everyone know that since 2012, during the inception of the Chicago office he opened with his business partner. He’s featured in the Who’s Who of Chicago Real Estate in Chicago Agent Magazine in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. He also received a 5 Star Professional award in 2014, 2015 and 2016, all while helping Evolve Bank & Trust’s Chicago office achieve a lender of year nomination in both 2014 and 2015. He is also featured as a “Real Estate Visionary” in the 2016 CS Modern Luxury Magazine’s Summer Men’s Book. He is seen as an integral member of the Real Estate Community and believes his passion for real estate sets him apart from other leaders. It is with great honor that he is welcomed to the Forbes Custom Real Estate Black Book.

Let TK teach you about Real Estate Banking.

Areas of Expertise & Credentials:

Residential Mortgage Lending
Non Warrantable Condos
Jumbo Loans
Sales Management
Origination Training

Significant Clients:

Songwriters for:

Justin Bieber
Kanye West
NFL Players current & past

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Evolve Bank & Trust

100 North La Salle, Suite 1400, Chicago, Illinois 60602


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NMLS# 254253