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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ask the Loan Man - Hans Bruhner - January 2011

Miracle on Argonne Way

Ok, it is a corny title but wait until you read the story and the proximity to Christmas and then you will be good with it. This is a Forestville community Christmas story and it makes me proud to be a part of it.

Zach and Mallary came to me to discuss buying their first home early this year. They wanted to take advantage of the first time buyer tax credit of $8,000 but they just were not ready so they waited and planned and saved. The tax credit went away in April but in October the right house came along. We were planning on using a USDA loan so they could buy with no money down.

Their Realtor Robin Berardini called me and asked me to check out the house and look for any potential financing problems. I am so glad she did because I discovered some issues with the house that just would not work on a USDA loan. I saw that I could probably get an FHA loan together for this house but that would mean a 3.5% down payment and we would need to make some repairs to the house before the appraiser came out…… AND there was someone else bidding on the property and we heard that they had a larger down payment which makes the financing a little easier. We put in our offer and waited.

It took some time but we heard that the other buyers backed out and the sellers had accepted our offer and would allow us to do the work prior to the appraiser coming. This does not usually happen because of potential liability but Mallary’s dad is Steve Pearson and besides being Forestville’s person of the year with his wife Bonnie, he is a contractor and agreed to take a leap of faith and do the work for free to facilitate the loan.

The work was done and the appraisal was ordered. Because of a new law, I do not get to use appraisers that I have used for 15 years and I have to order blindly from a large panel. The appraiser went in and just picked everything apart and made the smallest items seem like a big deal. This is the report that goes to the underwriter who does not have the opportunity to see the house in person and she made a long list of demands that I thought would stop us in our tracks. Robin was not ready to give up and she called a meeting and we emerged from that meeting with a plan to do all of the work asked for by the underwriter. Steve again was willing to jump in and risk doing the work for free and Mallary and Zach and friends and siblings had to pitch in also.

At this point I have to give a little shout out to the listing agent Teri Shaughnessy who had faith in us and worked with her sellers to allow this work to happen. This is very unusual and typically does not happen during escrow, especially the amount of work we needed to do.

I am just so proud of Forestville for making this happen, it takes a village to sell a house. Mallary grew up on Argonne Way and was able to buy her own home there and she starts her new life with Zach. I have heard rumors that the other people bidding on the house were from a Forestville family as well and they either stepped aside as a courtesy or it was just meant to be but this little community really came together to help these kids get their first home and that is why I love Forestville. It is a good loan to go out on….. I am moving my office to Sebastopol in January. I believe there will be good things in my old space soon, stay tuned.

See Mallary & Zach live at:
Please email or call me with any real estate and mortgage related questions. I am happy to answer you and it may become the topic of a future article.

Hans Bruhner
is a branch manager for First Priority Financial. Hans is licensed by the CA DRE # 01085398 and NMLS #243484. If you have a question, please contact him at (707) 887-1275 or