Jan Stark and Juli Preisser now are more than just sisters — they're also business partners.

The sisters recently opened a Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. office at 104 W. Sixth St. in Newton. They also run a branch in El Dorado.

"It's been a growing experience as sisters, working together," Preisser said.

"It's been fun," Stark agreed. "... We both like dealing with people and having customer relationships."

The business offers residential mortgages, including Conventional, Federal Housing Administration, USDA Rural Development and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs loans. They also work with the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation to provide grants to certain income levels, and they offer a 203K loan that helps people get a home that needs repairs at a discounted price.

"We felt like we could compliment the lending infrastructure that was already here (in Newton)," Preisser said.

Stark and Preisser said due to the targeted nature of their business, they are able to offer specialized services to customers.

"We're different from a bank in that we focus on mortgage loans only," Stark said.

PRMI has been in business since 1998 and has franchises across the United States, with about 1,500 employees. What the sisters liked about PRMI was the fact the business allows each branch to process and complete loans at the local level, and looks for ways to cut out corporate bureaucracy.

"That transfers to quicker closings and less red tape," Preisser said.

The sisters have experience in the real estate and banking industries, and they said they bring their knowledge from those fields to their new business.

They opened the Newton office in mid-November, and they said they have enjoyed being in the same building as Prairie Harvest and have even done some partnering with the other business.

"We've really enjoyed this office space," Preisser said.

While the sisters originally are from Wichita, they have chosen to move to more rural areas. Stark lives near Burns, and Preisser lives near Yoder.

"We love the smaller communities, and that's where we want to serve," Stark said.

The business will offer a new home buyer workshop from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 31 at the Newton office. A meal will be provided. There is no charge for the workshop, but RSVPs are requested by calling 804-4881.

The Newton Chamber will be hosting a ribbon cutting and open house for the new business at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 24.

For more information about the business, visit www.mortgageloansbyJanandJuli.com.