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My wife and I had a rollercoaster of an experience in buying our first home. We went from feeling on top of the world after our offer was accepted on our dream home to feeling completely defeated after finding out our bank couldn’t lend us the amount we asked for. And yet, somehow we made it through to close the deal. It was all thanks to Rica. First, a bit of backstory. We were first time home buyers, and as such we were initially quite intimidated by the home buying process. We had vague ideas of what we wanted – 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a single family lot – but we had no idea what to expect of the market. We started off by going to open houses, seeing what was available in a price range we believed our budget to be – but we realized we would need help. That’s when we first met Rica. It didn’t take us long to see just how much knowledge she brought to the table. Contingencies? City permitting? The need for full underwriting approval? Making sure our lender could move quickly? Finally we were moving in the right direction. After that we began to seek pre-approval so we knew exactly how much budget we could work with. Rica gave us a list of lenders she had personally worked with and vouched for, but we were a little uncomfortable to go with private mortgage lenders right away, so we decided to stick with the big banks. This would prove to be a mistake – more on that later – but at least we finally had the ability to make offers. My wife and I continued to go to open houses, and Rica and her assistant Autumn continued to provide advice on what neighborhoods to check out in what price ranges. Rica let us know that the second we were seriously interested in a place, she would move heaven and earth to fight for us and to “win” – her catchphrase. Little did we know how serious she was! Eventually we found a newly listed property that was perfect for us. We called our banker to put things in motion, and Rica went over what qualities would constitute a competitive offer. She made sure to speak with the banker personally to figure out the length of time they needed for clearing our loan and appraisal contingencies, and to make sure they could close escrow quickly. With the go ahead from the lender, we sent it off and hoped for the best. The sellers accepted our offer! We were going to be homeowners! We spent the next few days in nervous excitement waiting for the bankers to submit all of our documentation to the underwriters for final approval. Unfortunately, this is the part of the story when things took a turn for the worse. The banker backed out. They could not give us a loan for the amount we offered to the sellers. Despite their continued assurances and confidence they came back and told us they could not lend the amount we asked for. Suddenly we found ourselves in a very difficult situation. With only one more day until we had to remove the loan contingency and send off the good-faith deposit to escrow, we called Rica in desperate need of advice. Her recommendation was this: if we still really wanted the house (we did) she was committed to continuing her fight for us as hard as she could. So, she immediately contacted one of the lenders she had worked with before that she knew personally and passed along our information. She then contacted the sellers and managed to negotiate an extension on both the loan and appraisal contingencies by another week. Luckily she had worked with the listing agent before, so they trusted her when Rica told them that we could still make the deal work. With the new lender lined up we sent in a barrage of documents in the course of only a few days. By the end of the week, our new lenders had 90% confidence that they could get the loan worked out. But we still needed more time, and the loan contingency was about to expire again. So Rica yet again went back to the sellers as negotiated a final extension. We still can’t believe she managed to convince them we were serious about the property, but she did! From that moment we finally started to get a little hope back after it had been crushed by our previous bank. With all of the final pieces in place, the lender spent a few more days working things out and we were finally approved for the loan amount that we wanted. Pretty soon the paperwork was signed, final inspections were completed, and keys were in hand! It was a rollercoaster of emotions, but Rica was there for us throughout, always reassuring us that things would be okay. We can’t thank her enough for all of her hard work and perseverance. When we first met Rica, she told us she would fight hard for us and do her best to help us win. She delivered on that promise above and beyond. Her knowledge, expertise, and drive was what won us our dream home. We couldn’t have done it without her. She turned what would have been a crushing disappointment into a dream come true. Thank you Rica!

Luke Herbold

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