Alfred and Aisha were first-generation homebuyers with no one to help guide them. So they turned to NFM Lending Branch Manager, Mary Levinson. Despite a tough market, things were humming along when suddenly the couple encountered a life-threatening situation that brought everything into question. In this installment of “Client for Life,” hear how Mary supported the couple during a dire time and quickly went from advisor to friend.

Full Transcript is Below:

– We started looking for a home in 2016.

– We were living in an apartment.

– We had a little one and we were expecting baby number two. At that point, it was like we definitely need to get something right before he gets here because we’re already feeling kinda overcrowded with the little one as she was getting older with all the toys and everything.

– Growing up, I didn’t see anybody around me and my family go through the process own a home, know anything about owning a home. And so, it was kinda like being a first generation college student where you don’t have anybody to go to to ask about like, how do I navigate this? It was more so kind of having to figure it out on our own. That’s when we started going through the process of like, oh, we should find a realtor. We should find a lender. The first time that we actually met Mary, we were gonna talk like a few minutes, and then it wound up talking to her for over an hour because she’s so thorough and we had a lot of questions.

– And I met them. I remember so clearly I was just taken back by Aisha and Alfred, how our conversation went well. And I instantly wanted to help and do my part to do whatever it is that they needed. To help them financially. To help them with their home buying purchase. To kinda get things going for them.

– She was very conservative with the numbers too which I like, because I needed to, like, I wanted to overestimate. I wanna know what I’m getting myself into. And if I’m surprised at the end that it was isn’t as expensive as I had planned, great. And so, she did all of that really well for us, talked me down a lot.

– She wasn’t just a loan officer. She was also more of like a, financial advisor.

– Financial therapist.

– And they started looking at houses very seriously, picking communities, getting ready. And then all of a sudden, there’s some difficulty with Aisha’s pregnancy.

– It was 24 weeks and four days and they were like, “Oh he’s coming, you’re dilated, we gotta go.” And I just remember talking to the NICU nurse who was like, “There’s no knowing what the chances are for your son.” My son came out crying, a pound and a half. I got to see him very briefly before they whisked him away and took him to the NICU. And then maybe about four hours later after having him we got to go see him. He was so small and like, so tiny, hooked up to all of these cords and tubes and machines. Everything’s beeping. Being with my son in the NICU for those three and a half months after I had him, that kind of overshadowed everything.

– Alfred and I kept communicating not about the loan anymore and the purchase transaction, but just checking in on her, make sure that we stayed connected in that process. And, suddenly a few weeks later they realized how strong that little baby was, and how well they’re gonna do that he started picking up the process again for the family unit, for the two of them.

– With that situation one would expect things to go on pause. Take care of the family first. But to me, I saw this as taking care of the family because, I knew he was coming home. I happened to actually saw this house while we were still in hospital. I showed her the pictures but the only thing she saw was the pictures before I actually came out here to see the house. And, I saw this house I was like, “Oh my God, this is the one.”

– The two of us working on her behalf. It was smoother than you would think. I was more concerned on a personal level as a parent who has children. I was really concerned about her and the baby and Alfred and just how things were gonna go. But when it comes to doing the loan and going through the process, we had been so close and gotten to know each other so well that I believe that they knew I had their best interest at heart, absolutely, and they trusted me, 100%. And it felt great and I wanted to deliver. I wanted to make sure that they had the smoothest process from start to finish, and I believe that they did. And look, we’ve become friends over this time. It’s amazing. This is the reason I do this.

– Babies are not viable until about 24 weeks. And the fact that he was able to come home one day after his original due date. No medicines, no machines, eyes, ear working great. This has been a tough year and a year of transition. But I think, now that we’re in it like, this is my house and I’m really excited.