This week, Laura and Sara are joined by Shelly Ave, Vice President of Mortgage Lending at Guaranteed Rate. Following the motto ““it doesn’t cost a penny to look”, Shelly is well known for her ability to communicate and to champion the home buyer through the entire process. A long-time Andersonville resident, you have probably seen Shelly in the neighborhood walking her two English mastiffs.

Shelly Ave Edited

Shelly Ave recording in Transistor’s Studio C.

“My job is part financial wizard, part investigator, part therapist, but almost always creative problem solver.”
– Shelly Ave

Listen to Episode 59 with Shelly Ave!

Here are some references from Episode 59 that you might want to check out:

    • Shelly is originally from the Anderson, Indiana, about twenty minutes north of Indianapolis. She moved to the city after graduating from Indiana University.

Shelly and one of her dogs.

    • She loves dogs. If money were no object, she would rescue dogs all day every day. In fact, she has two English Mastiffs: Big Ike (who is 175 pounds) and Boris VonDrool (who is 225 pounds at 2 years old). They make quite an impression when walking down Clark Street.
    • After graduating, Shelly worked as a mannequin sales person. At one point she was in Milwaukee to discuss whether or not nipples were an essential part of the mannequin; it was then that she started reflecting on her life, wondering if she wanted to continue doing something like this.

The mannequins of Shelly’s former career.

    • After working with mannequins, she went into finance. Her friends were opening a company and she hopped on board. At this point she had been living in Andersonville for 16 years (since February 2003). She was convinced by her friend, Jenny, who told her that it was the most dog-friendly neighborhood in the city.
    • One of her favorite memories of the area happened at FOURSIDED (5061 N Clark) around the holidays: it was a very busy and stressful time of life for her, but she stopped at FOURSIDED to get a letter framed as a Christmas gift. The store was very busy, but the owner reassured her that the frame would be done within a week or two. Two hours after leaving the store, Shelly got a phone call – the frame was finished. The owner had seen that she was stressed and wanted to alleviate some of the pressure of the holidays by finishing one thing on her checklist. That’s when she knew that she was in a good spot, and has been here ever since.
    • Now, she works and invests in the community through her work at Guaranteed Rate. 100% of her business is from referrals; she goes out into the community, does good work, and then has her clients spread her name around town.
    • Sarah Ghorbanian, owner of RE: chiropractic + wellness (5347 N Clark)  and Shelly’s close friend, was a long time resident of Andersonville when they met at a Chamber event. Her father immigrated to the United States, and through hard work and financial savvy he invested in multi-unit buildings to provide quality housing for people in the neighborhood. Sarah wanted to take that legacy and make it her own. Check out Sarah’s podcast – Episode 33 here.
    • Even though the mortgage process can be daunting, the process is more reasonable now than it was back in 2008. Shelly compares it to a court of law – it doesn’t matter what you tell her, it just matters what you can prove. Sometimes people also forget the rule of confidentiality – what you tell your mortgage lender, they cannot tell anybody else. In order to make good progress, you need to be honest about where you’ve been and where you would like to go.
    • One small quirk about Shelly’s job: she spends a lot of her Sunday afternoons fielding calls from clients. Apparently, 75% of people make major financial decisions on a Sunday.
    • On a separate note, there is a rent control ban from 1997 that may be repealed. We’ll let you listen to Shelly discuss her position, but below are some linked resources so you can learn more about this issue:

Shelly’s dogs.



  • If Shelly could swap with any Andersonville business for a day, she would choose Jameson Loves Danger (5208 N Clark) because of her passion for puppies and her love of their $5 delivery.

Visit Shelly Ave and Guaranteed Rate on the following platforms:
Online: rate.com/loan-expert/shellyave
Email: shelly.ave@rate.com
Office Phone: (312) 940-4575