Tired of throwing money away on rent, Daven and Diana Bhakta began their home search soon after their wedding day. When they walked into the Landsea community, Hudson in Placentia, CA, they immediately fell in love with the prospects for their new home. In our latest podcast, we talk with the Bhaktas about why they weren’t concerned with rising interest rates and wanted to buy rather than continue renting.

Full Transcript is Below:

– Welcome to “Home Run: Great Client Experiences,” a podcast by NFM Lending. I’m your host, Gene DiPaula. And today we have a really great story about great customer service, satisfied clients, and a unique partnership that has really benefited a lot of homeowners. And I’ll explain more about that as we go on. But first, I’d like to welcome our very happy clients. That would be Daven Bhakta and his wife Diana. Welcome.

– Thank you.

– Thank you.

– Also from Landsea Homes, we have Parker Duarte. Welcome, Parker.

– Thank you very much.

– And from Landsea Mortgage, a division of NFM Lending, we have Loan Originator Camille Baldwin. Welcome, Camille.

– Hey there. Thank you.

– Before we get started, I just wanted to explain a little bit about the relationship between Landsea Mortgage and NFM Lending. Landsea Mortgage is a division of NFM Lending, and the partnership combines the mortgage expertise of the NFM family with the builder experience of Landsea Homes to create a dynamic customer experience. And that’s what we’re gonna talk about here, because as I mentioned, we have Daven and Diana, who were looking for a house, they were renting and just decided it was time to move. So Daven and Diana, tell us a little bit about your background, how you came to want to purchase a home.

– So we started the home finding process a little after our wedding reception when we got married. We saw Landsea, came to check out the model homes that they have here. As soon as we got here, checked them, the three-bedroom, two-bedroom, one-bedroom. And eventually we chose the three-bedroom was the perfect fit for us for starting a family that we will have eventually in the future. And then from there we just loved it, decided to put our name on the waiting list. And lo and behold, on Valentine’s Day, we got the call that we were on the list to put down a deposit for the three-bedroom house that we wanted. And I called my wife and I told her that was her Valentine’s gift to her, that I got her a house.

– Wow, that’s a nice Valentine’s Day gift. So you’d been renting. Why did you decide that buying a house was a better option than renting for you?

– Well, at that point, renting and buying a home with a mortgage, they were kind of equally in the same price range. We decided we might as well put our money towards something that we have under our name, an asset. Just spending all that money kind of seemed to me we were just throwing it away, and I’d rather have that money put into a home that we can call our own.

– You were concerned that interest rates were high, but you didn’t necessarily consider that a bad thing. Talk to us about why you decided to move forward with the purchase of the home despite the interest rates at the time.

– Well, my philosophy was, with the high interest rate, you do have a smaller buyer group when it comes to buying homes. In the future, when rates do drop, you will have more and more people trying to buy a home that will outbid other people as well. So, it was, I said I would rather get into a house now, and in the future when rates do drop, we’ll refinance, and we’ll be able to save a little bit more extra money on the side, and hopefully buy a second home.

– Diana, what was it about the Landsea community that attracted you both?

– So when we came to look at the model homes, I instantly knew like, this is it. And we had looked at a few new construction, some older homes. And it was one of those things where I just knew it. Like I walked in, and I can see myself, it was like my gut feeling, like I can see myself here, I can see me or us starting a family here. And everyone from beginning to end, everyone was more than happy to help us and answer our questions. And to me, customer service is one of the most important things, and we just, that was it. Like we stopped looking the first time we came to look at the model home, that was it. We just never looked again.

– Camille, do you remember anything specific about working with Daven and Diana and how you helped them specifically?

– Yes. When they first applied, we looked at kind of all angles, what loan programs would make the most sense for them. And they were very helpful with some of my suggestions on how we could get them an even better term, better rate on credit scores. And they got everything done so quickly and that makes my job even easier, when clients are very helpful in putting in the work on their side to help me on my side with getting them the best deal possible.

– So Parker, Diana mentioned just the great customer service that she experienced, her and Daven experienced throughout the home buying process. Talk to us a little bit about what Landsea Homes does in order to create a great customer experience, especially in these times when people are maybe a little bit more wary about buying a home.

– Yeah, well first I wanna say congratulations to you two. I think that’s exactly what we’re looking to accomplish, is to get you excited about your new home in this next part of your life, really. And walking into any of our model homes, you’re blown away. But then once you’re driving away, this kind of logical side comes upon you and you have to figure out, “Okay, well what’s this really gonna cost me?” So at Landsea Homes and our partnership with Landsea Mortgage, powered by NFM, it’s super important that we’re working together and really getting people to the point where they feel comfortable making those payments. And we do a lot of hard work behind the scenes with kind of making that whole lending process as seamless as possible. Camille is on weekly escrow calls with our team and it’s something that we go into, very in-depth, to get everybody across the finish line. And if we’re doing our job right, our customers here will feel that.

– Yeah. And so I guess we can talk a little bit more about the relationship between Landsea Mortgage and NFM Lending. So Camille, just tell us a little bit about how you see the relationship. We have a very close relationship. Landsea is just one of the top builders in the country. In fact, I think they were the top builder for 2022. Can you just talk a little bit more about that relationship from your perspective?

– Yes, absolutely. And I think partnership is the perfect word for it, because we really do support each other, like Parker said. We have a close relationship with the communities, with the sales agents. And I think that is crucial with the home-buying process is that we just have this open line of communication on how we can get these clients taken care of and what needs to happen in the transaction with where the home is at, what loan programs make the most sense, and then how we can structure the deal with the amazing incentives that the builders are offering. I know we’re very grateful for that on our side. And I think the customers get the best experience out of it too because they have a team that everyone’s working together.

– Yeah. So you mentioned a lender credit. Daven, can you just talk to us a little bit about how Camille presented it to you? And then ultimately what you decided to do with the credit?

– Yeah, so at the time, Landsea was offering the credit. And at the end of the day, we said, “You know what? Let’s talk to Camille.” And so we told Camille what are our best options, if it’s towards the house, towards upgrade, towards the rate. And ultimately we did choose using the full amount towards our rate. As much as we love the house, you have to fall in love with your mortgage payment. That mortgage payment’s what’s gonna really determine, if you’re gonna be living on the edge, I like to say, month-to-month. And that’s what we chose at the end of the day. And where we’re at, three months later. It made the most sense. It does make the most sense. And we’re very grateful for all our help during the process.

– Yeah. So Camille, part of the mortgage process is getting to know the clients, getting to know their financial situation. And not just getting them into a mortgage payment that they can afford, but also one that they’re comfortable with. That’s part of the process. Tell us a little bit about that.

– Yeah, I do think that it’s a bigger picture than sometimes just your mortgage as well. It’s looking at other monthly expenses, where they’re comfortable with their total cash to close, what they have in savings, what they’re prepared to come to the table with. And that’s what we’re here for is to give them the options to make sure they’re making the best decision for their family, and so that’s what we did. We looked at that 20,000, that was an amazing incentive from the builder because that allowed us to really flex to what was important for Daven and Diana. Whether that was covering some of their upgrades, whether that was buying down the rate, or a combination of the two. And that’s where I was able to give them different options and we went with the one that made the most sense for a payment for them to be comfortable now. And also looked at their long-term goals with this home as well. How long they anticipate being in the home? Are there opportunities that we may refinance them down the road, and where they’re comfortable now, versus where we may be in a few years.

– So Diana, now that you’re in your new home, how are you loving it?

– I absolutely love it. Everything about it. It’s so weird ’cause we’re like in the city, but we can see the mountains, which I absolutely love. And like every morning when I’m having breakfast, I can just like look straight out and I can see those mountains. And it makes it all worth it.

– Daven, you mentioned to me that you love to cook. You said you got a great kitchen, living and dining area. Tell us a little bit about that.

– Yeah, so I told my wife when we were buying the home that the kitchen upgrades, anything in the kitchen is mine. So everything in the kitchen, I chose the open sink concept, the stove top that we use, the refrigerator we got. So everything in the kitchen pretty much I cook. I have the opportunity to cook for both of us, which is nice. So cooking different meals, trying different foods out that we like. So it’s great that Landsea was able to offer such a great kitchen at the end of the day, ’cause what we like is to have, is we like to have our dinner together, just to talk about our day, what’s going on, and to do that, it also helps having a great kitchen that brings us both together to even when we want to cook together, or one of us is cooking, we get to talk to each other, and that’s what we really love about it.

– Great. Parker, following from that, what is Landsea’s philosophy in building a home to make a great experience, a great layout, where families gather and really enjoy some time together?

– Yeah, so here at Landsea, we always talk about living in your element. And really what that means to us is, everybody does different things in their house. And that it’s where they feel comfortable, and how they design their house. And we really live by that here, living in your element. And it just really allows our customers to be able to build their house and to really design it the way that they want their life to be. So it’s great to hear that story.

– So Daven, talk a little bit about your experience with Camille and the communication throughout the process.

– I would have questions, I’d email her, she would be willing to hop on a quick phone call, which meant a lot, just because we’ve heard some people are like, “Okay, we’ll get back to you in the next couple days.” Whereas Camille, I would email her, and she would gimme a call right away, be like, “Oh dang, that’s really nice of her, taking time out of her busy day to talk to me.” Which, during our first home-buying process, I’m sure she hears the same question over and over from other people and she was more than willing to explain it, take the time, talk to me, whether it was early in the morning, or even after work when she was getting off. I know I did that to her a few times. And it just meant a lot that she was able to just be there for us. And towards the end of it, it was bittersweet. We’re like, “Yes, we finally get our home,” but then, we kind of don’t get to keep talking to Camille anymore or bothering her about all these small questions that I had. She was more than willing to go above and beyond for us. And we’re very grateful for her for that.

– Wonderful. Well, Daven and Diana, congratulations on the purchase of your new home. We wanna thank you for your time today and going over your incredible story. It sounds like you were really set up very nicely and have a very bright future and good luck with everything, including the building of the family.

– Thank you. It means a lot.

– Thank you.

– Parker and Camille, thank you for your time as well. Wonderful job

– Thank you.

– Thank you.

– You’ve been listening to “Home Run: Great Client Experiences,” a podcast by NFM Lending. I’ve been your host, Gene DiPaula. Thanks for listening.

– “Home Run: Great Client Experiences” is a production of NFM TV and NFM Inc. NFM Inc does business as NFM Lending, NMLS number 2893. Camille Baldwin’s NMLS number is 2026707. This podcast is for informational purposes only. Contact NFM Lending directly to learn more about their mortgage programs and your eligibility for such programs. The experiences of clients appearing on this podcast are individual experiences of those that have used our service. NFM Inc does not provide incentives for testimonials or reviews. NFM Lending is not a credit repair company. You should consult with a credit repair company to determine what may be best for your individual needs. This is not a credit decision or commitment to lend. Eligibility is subject to completion of an application and verification of home ownership, occupancy, title, income, employment, credit, home value, collateral, and underwriting requirements. NFM Inc is not affiliated with, or an agent or division of a governmental agency or depository institution. Copyright 2023.