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									                                   welcome
                                       home
                                   Real stories of
                                   homeowners who
                                   found true advocates
                                   in their Wells Fargo
                                   Home Mortgage teams.
THIS PAGE: PHOTO BY MICHAEL PENN




                                   THE HOMEOWNER: Firouz & Sofia Mehrabad
                                   Juneau, Alaska Four years ago, Firouz Mehrabad, his wife Sofia and their three children left Iran—the only home they had ever known—and moved to the
                                   United States. It was a drastic but necessary decision. The Mehrabad’s Bahai religion, a minority in Iran, drew persecution in every area of their lives,
                                   from their freedom to worship, to job opportunities, to their ability to own property. “We were living without certain freedoms,” Firouz says.
                                      Once settled in the United States, Firouz set out to accomplish something he had never been allowed to do in Iran: become a homeowner.
                                   His first step was to find a mortgage company. Firouz researched a number of options before eventually deciding to stick with his bank. “Wells
                                   Fargo had better financing, better service, and especially better people,” Firouz says. “There were a couple companies that even offered me a
                                   lower interest rate, but I chose to stick with Wells Fargo because I really liked and trusted the people.”
                                      Challenge two was to overcome the tight real estate market in his new hometown of Juneau, Alaska. “The Juneau market is tough,” Firouz
                                   says. “There isn’t a lot of real estate, so when something does come up for sale, it sells right away—sometimes within a couple of hours.”


                                   6   YOURHOME   Winter 2006
                                                                                                     Lisa Shockley, Mortgage
                                                                                                     Sales Associate, and
                                                                                                     Catherine Sayre, Home
                                                                                                     Mortgage Consultant




                                                                                                     The Mehrabad’s Wells Fargo
                                                                                                     Home Mortgage Team
                                                                                                     “We do this job every day,” says Wells Fargo
                                                                                                     Home Mortgage consultant Catherine Sayre. “But
                                                                                                     every so often there is someone you become extra
                                                                                                     excited for; who really touches you. This was the case
                                                                                                     with the Mehrabad family.”
                                                                                                         Firouz was recommended to Catherine by his
                                                                                                     Wells Fargo banker. Struck by his story and deter-
                                                                                                     mination, she and her team became chief advo-
                                                                                                     cates in the Mehrabad’s quest for a home.
                                                                                                     Catherine immediately secured a preapproval,
                                                                                                     which helped Firouz understand what price range
                                                                                                     he could afford. She then assessed which of
                                                                                                     Wells Fargo 90-plus financing options would best
                                                                                                     suit the family’s needs for a low down payment
                                                                                                     and low monthly payment. “We combined a first-
                                                                                                     time homebuyer program, which offers a lower
                                                                                                     interest rate, with an FHA loan, which accepts a
                                                                                                     lower down payment,” Catherine says.
                                                                                                         Because the financing process requires history
                                                                                                     of employment, Sofia was asked to submit her
                                                                                                     healthcare license. Unfortunately, the license was in
                                                                                                     the Mehrabad’s native language of Farsi. That’s
                                                                                                     when Wells Fargo Home Mortgage underwriter
                                                                                                     Claudia Holmes had an idea. “I have a Persian-
                                                                                                     American friend who is a teacher and has taught
                                                                                                     Farsi in the past,” Claudia says. “I contacted her
                                                                                                     and asked if she would be willing to translate the
                                                                                                     document for us. She said, ‘Absolutely!’ She even
                                                                                                     wrote her phone number down on the translation
                                                                                                     document with a note that the Mehrabads could
                                                                                                     call her anytime. Clearly, this family has a lot of
                                                                                                     people who were happy to see their success.”
   But Firouz didn’t let that stop him. He spotted the house he wanted in the                             This theme of people helping people runs deep in
newspaper and, armed with a Priority BuyerSM preapproval, immediately called                         the business of home financing, and it seemed to
the seller. “I went over to his house that night!”                                                   crystallize at the Mehrabad’s closing. Catherine admits
   The final—and hardest—challenge was coming up with the down payment. Nearly                       she became a little emotional at the sight of her
$10,000 short, Firouz, his wife and his teenage son, Panah, kicked their work schedules into         ever-determined customers becoming homeowners for
high gear. Their hard work, penny-pinching and last-minute sale of a Persian rug produced            the first time in their lives. “Just as he was about to
the money just in time. At closing, the family recognized Panah’s contributions by adding his        sign the first document, Firouz said, ‘This is a very his-
name to the mortgage. Today, the Mehrabads are loving life as American citizens and home-            toric moment for our family.’ I almost cried. It felt
owners. Firouz and Sofia work as an accountant and nurse, respectively, and their children           awesome to be a part of such an important moment
are in school. “We tried to get to this point for so long,” Firouz says. “And it is finally here.”   in these people’s lives.”


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                                    “He helped my wife fix several
                                        mistakes on our credit report,
                                     walked us through each step of
                                       the financing process and met
                                    repeatedly with both of our real
                                         estate agents.”                           —Paul Ricci
THIS PAGE: PHOTO BY MICHAEL PILLA




                                     THE HOMEOWNER: Paul & Nancy Ricci
                                     Collegeville, Pa. Paul and Nancy Ricci are proof that homeowners do not need to be in the same
                                     city as their mortgage consultant in order to successfully buy a home. As a matter of fact, their
                                     home purchase was coordinated by a team of experts located all throughout the United States.
                                         Listening to the Riccis tell the story, it’s hard to believe this spread-out cast of characters
                                     wasn’t in their own back yard. Especially when it came to their Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
                                     consultant. “Tony Cardinali is the hardest- and smartest-working professional we have ever
                                     dealt with in the banking industry,” Paul says.
                                         Tony and his team came into the Riccis’ lives during a particularly trying time. Paul received a
                                     sudden job offer but couldn’t sell his old home in time to buy the new one. “We were relocating
                                     from our lifelong home to an unknown state, new job and a brand new life to put into place.”
                                         Sensing the couple’s anxiety, their real estate agent suggested they call Tony. He and his
                                     team instantly put the Riccis at ease, assuring them everything would turn out just fine. “He
                                     helped my wife fix several mistakes on our credit report, walked us through each step of the
                                     financing process and met repeatedly with both of our real estate agents,” Paul says.
                                         Yet even with all of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage’s legwork, it was the team’s accessibility
                                     that most put these homeowners at ease. “If Tony wasn’t available,” says Paul, “we were
                                     marvelously taken care of by his assistant.”


                                     8   YOURHOME   Winter 2006
Tony Cardinali,
Home Mortgage
Consultant, and
Mark Richard,
Sales Associate.



The Riccis’ Wells Fargo Home
Mortgage Team
Buying a new home while the old home is still on
the market may seem stressful to a homeowner,
but it’s all in a day’s work for a home mortgage
team. That’s why the first order of business for a
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage team often is to
assure their customers that there is a solution to
this common predicament.
    Tony and his team took this challenge head-
on, first by providing a special bridge financing
package to carry the Riccis through the transi-
tion of juggling two mortgages. “I acted as a
sort of conductor in this process,” Tony says.
“I looked at the circumstance, decided what
financing package would work best; then worked
with the underwriter.”
     He also conducted the relationship between
the Riccis and their real estate agents. “I
talked regularly with the real estate agents
at the Riccis’ new residence—just to keep
them abreast of what was going on here in
Massachusetts—and I co-sponsored a broker
open house at the Riccis’ old residence.”
    These types of broker open houses serve to
not only raise awareness of a property among
local real estate agents, but also to show the
customer that progress is being made. “Knowing
that their financing was in place prevented the
Riccis from rushing or pressuring their real
estate agent to hurry up and sell.”


       www.wellsfargo.com/yourhome   YOURHOME   9
THIS PAGE: PHOTO BY JOE HARRISON




                                   THE HOMEOWNER: Barry & Laurie Cothran
                                   Troy, Ohio “When you’re forced to move—even when it’s a positive move—it can be stressful,” says Laurie Cothran.
                                      For Laurie, the forced move came two years ago when her husband, Barry, was transferred from Missouri to Ohio. Around that same time,
                                   two of their town’s biggest employers closed, causing countless people to put up their homes for sale—and the market to become flooded.
                                   Further complicating the situation, the Cothrans were carrying a significant amount of debt. “Our credit rating was good,” Barry says. “But
                                   we had a lot of revolving debt. So much that a lot of banks turned us down.”
                                      Fortunately for the Cothrans, the Sydney, Ohio Wells Fargo Home Mortgage office was well versed in handling these types of situations. “Our Wells
                                   Fargo Home Mortgage consultant stepped up to the plate,” Barry says. “I had done my homework and was relentless in my search for the best deal
                                   possible, but they showed tremendous patience, running countless options by us.”
                                      In the end, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage resolved the credit issues and provided a financing package that allowed the family to purchase
                                   their new home before the old one had sold. Today the Cothrans find themselves better off than they were before the move. Troy’s good
                                   schools and family-oriented neighborhoods are the perfect fit for their three kids and spunky Labrador. “The Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
                                   team was instrumental in taking a tough situation and making it positive,” Laurie says.


                                   10   YOURHOME   Winter 2006
    “I’m proud of the compassion
shown by this team. That is part of
  what we do; the job is about more
   than just receiving a paycheck.”
          —Karen Lawrence, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Branch Manager




                                                                      Karen Lawrence,
                                                                      Branch Manager




                                                                      The Cothrans’ Wells Fargo
                                                                      Home Mortgage Team
                                                                      Getting the Cothrans through the transition of
                                                                      owning two homes at once was one task facing
                                                                      this Sydney, Ohio Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
                                                                      team. Resolving the issue of the family’s high
                                                                      debt was a second.
                                                                          High “debt-to-income ratios,” as they’re called
                                                                      in the mortgage industry, signal potential difficulties
                                                                      in a homebuyer’s ability to support a monthly
                                                                      mortgage payment. As a result, they can also
                                                                      hinder that homebuyer’s efforts to get approved
                                                                      for a loan—unless the homebuyer has a team of
                                                                      professionals that is trained in finding solutions.
                                                                      “We were able to justify their reasons for exceeding
                                                                      normal ratios,” says Wells Fargo Branch Manager
                                                                      Karen Lawrence. “In addition to showing other
                                                                      assets—things like 401(k)s, mutual funds, etc.—
                                                                      that could be used if absolutely necessary.”
                                                                          Perhaps more important, they were able to
                                                                      make their homeowners feel comfortable with
                                                                      their situation. “It can be very frightening to be
                                                                      in a situation like this,” Karen says. “I’m proud of
                                                                      the compassion shown by this team. That is part
                                                                      of what we do; the job is about more than just
                                                                      receiving a paycheck.”


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THIS PAGE: PHOTO BY JOHN GIUSTINA




                                    THE HOMEOWNER: Angelica & Jose Ramos
                                        Grants Pass, Ore. When is a home mortgage consultant worth his weight
                                    in gold? When he opens a door his customer didn’t know existed.
                                        Homeowners Angelica and Jose Ramos were searching for an investment
                                    property. What they found was a new property to live in. “I saw this house
                                    and immediately liked it better than where we were living,” Angelica says.
                                    “It had a bigger kitchen, better appliances and more light.”
                                        Switching to “Plan B,” the Ramoses decided to move into the better,
                                    more expensive home and use the former house as a rental property. The
                                    only catch was that they didn’t have enough money for the down payment.
                                    Worried their plan could be derailed, they called their mortgage company,
                                    Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.


                                    12   YOURHOME   Winter 2006
                                                        on your side
                                                        Every Wells Fargo Home Mortgage customer has a team of experts.
                                                        • Home Mortgage Consultant: Your main point of contact. A home mortgage
                                                        consultant listens to your story and responds with a solution designed to
                                                        meet your homebuying and financial needs. Next, the home mortgage
                                                        consultant guides you through the application, approval and closing
                                                        processes, acting as the liaison between you and your real estate agents,
                                                        attorneys, closing agents, etc.
                                                        • Underwriter/Processor: Reviews the mortgage file and processes your
                                                        application. An underwriter is a trained analyst whose top priority is to help
                                                        you receive a loan approval. If conditions aren’t amenable to an approval,
                                                        underwriters will do their best to find alternate solutions.
                                                        • Closing Agent: Reviews the loan documents and ensures a smooth
                                                        transaction. Neutral parties, such as title companies, escrow companies
                                                        or attorneys can also act as closing agents.
                                                        • Mortgage Assistant: Some home mortgage consultants have Mortgage
Timoteo Sanchez, Home                                   Assistants who serve as an alternate point of contact when the home
Mortgage Consultant
                                                        mortgage consultant is not available.




                                                        ✱
The Ramoses’ Wells Fargo
Home Mortgage Team
When Wells Fargo Home Mortgage consultant
Timoteo Sanchez picked up the phone that day,
he could sense the worry in his customer’s
voice. “Many borrowers think they have to have
                                                         how we can help... make the most of
                                                         your Wells Fargo Home Mortgage team
at least 10 percent to put down, especially when         They may each have a different area of expertise, but there’s one thing that your Wells Fargo
they already own a home,” Sanchez says. “The             Home Mortgage consultant, underwriter and loan processor have in common: They want to
Ramos family was no exception.”                          see you succeed in homeownership. Here’s how they can help.
    Fortunately, Timoteo knew otherwise. “I told them
                                                         • By identifying your needs: Whether you’re purchasing or refinancing, the first job of a home
there were other options. They could put 5 percent
                                                         mortgage consultant is to listen to your story. It’s only then that he or she can prescribe a
down, or because the house they were purchas-
                                                         specially tailored financing package to fit your current situation.
ing was going to be their primary residence, they
could even finance 100 percent using our                 • By financing your next purchase: Wells Fargo Home Mortgage’s teams are experts in finding

80/20 program.”                                          the most efficient way to get you into your next stage of homeownership. That’s why they

    An 80/20 program is a loan that uses a home-         should be the first people you talk to when you’re ready to move up, downsize or purchase a

owner’s primary residence (in this case the Ramoses’     second home.

old house) to finance 80 percent of their new            • By referring you to an expert: If ever your Wells Fargo Home Mortgage consultant sees an
property. The remaining 20 percent is financed           opportunity to offer a unique solution, such as a renovation or new construction financing,
from a home equity loan.                                 he or she will refer you to one of the company’s many specialists.
    In the end, the Ramoses chose to put down            Reach us by phone or visit us online, where you can e-mail us directly or find a Wells Fargo
5 percent, saving themselves from the higher             Home Mortgage office in your neighborhood.
fees and interest rates that are typically
incurred with 100 percent financing. Timoteo
and team helped them feel confident in that              800.545.7585
decision. “After interviewing them about their           www.wellsfargo.com/yourhome
financial situation and goals, I found this option
made the most sense,” he says.



                                                                                                     www.wellsfargo.com/yourhome      YOURHOME        13

								
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