I don’t know how it all started but sometime in the late summer of 2014 an idea began to creep into our bones which would end up altering the course of our lives permanently. Should we buy a house? Can we afford it? Where would we live? Do we have enough saved up? Are we ready for home ownership?
We spent the next few weeks generally day dreaming, looking through MLS listings and soaking in the fantasy of home ownership, until a good friend suggested that if we were serious about this idea, then we better talk to a mortgage broker. Welcome to reality! First things first, finding a good mortgage broker is key… and, we cannot stress the importance of this.
Broker #1, who will remain nameless, came via referral. He asked us a few questions over the phone and “pre-approved” us on the spot for home ownership. We were elated. We high-fived each other and attempted failed chest bumps. That should’ve been a clue. We breathed a sigh of relief, thinking how easy it was considering one of us, ahem, did not exactly have stellar credit. What fools we were… It turns out there is a lot more to a pre-approval than a simple phone consult.
Enter broker #2, Ron Contrelli. To tell you about Ron, I have to first tell you about our dream real-estate agent! In the world of paper pushers and bottom-line seekers, Jennifer Castellanos is a goddess! I found her online after reading numerous reviews and on paper she sounded too good to be true. But, she’s the real deal, folks, and she deserves her own post! I will provide her contact info below. I spoke to her on the phone and told her about our needs and she immediately announced that she only works with buyers who are pre-approved. Ha! We thought we were well ahead of the game. Only, when I called broker #1, he couldn’t produce a letter of pre-approval, because he had not done a proper pre-authorization. We panicked and Jen reassured us and told us to call Ron.
From the very first phone call with Ron, we knew we were in good hands. We were asked for bank statements, credit reports, tax forms, employment verifications and paystubs going back 3 years! He was very thorough and performed a detailed analysis of both our credit and savings history before providing a pre-approval letter. This turned out to be so important in the end because Jen found us our dream home in just 1 day! No, you didn’t read that wrong, we found our home during the very first day of house hunting and were in contract by the end of the week! More on that in Part 2.
For those of you in the Nassau/Suffolk Co. area in NY, looking buy a home, you will not be disappointed with Jen & Ron. We’re not getting paid to say this… We’re just very satisfied customers and a good thing like this must be shared…
Jennifer Castellanos: http://longislandpropertyfinder.com/
Ron Contrelli: http://chlmortgage.com/