Danielle Han Morris
My husband and I, like most average American couple, wanted to have a piece of the American dream. We worked hard our entire life and saved up for our first home. Everything seemed perfect and normal. A baby was on the way. We were so ecstatic to be new parents, and buying a home seemed like a good idea. We got an 80/20 loan, with a 5-year ARM (adjustable rate mortgage). Our plan was to buy something modest at first, until we build up enough equity to upgrade to something bigger. Forces in the market made this plan go up in smokes. The value in our property dropped significantly to only 1/3 of the original purchase price. Whatever equity we had in the home was gone, and we were more than up-side-down! The 5 year period was over, and the ARM kicked in. We did everything we could to hang on to this property. We worked 7 days a week and took on weekend jobs. Since the purchase of this property, which was 6 years ago, we had not taken a family vacation. This was taking a toll on our toddler who is now in kindergarten. There was no time to go to the park, no birthday parties, no family outing, no movies, no eating out. Every penny was going to sustain the mortgage. We worked hard, and at the end of the week, there was no time left for family. We were zombie parents, like dead corpses and exhausted by the time we came home late at night. Every pay check went to the mortgage, and nothing left at the end of the month. We met Houman 3 years ago. He knew of our hardship, and would check in with us once in a while. Every now and then, I got a friendly phone call from him, and we would chat. I knew we would eventually need help because we couldn’t sustain this financial drain any longer. However, a part of me was so embarrassed because I felt like I had failed. When I saw that he was working on deals much bigger than my property, I felt like we were just small fish in the sea. I didn’t think he would want to waste his time on pennies, when he could work on multi-million dollar deals. I was so wrong. He treated us like friends. He was very approachable and easy to talk to. We could ask him any question about real estate. He knew so much, and he kept us abreast of the industry pulse. We had heard so many bad news about short sales, and we were afraid of the negativity surrounding it. We were especially concerned about the lengthy time involved to finalize a short sale transaction (up to one year in some cases).We finally relented and let Houman take over the sale of our property. In less than 2 months, we had a solid offer, AND the bank’s approval for short sale. We don’t know how, but he did it, like magic! To summarize shortly, it’s all about the negotiation. If your realtor goes to battle on your behalf, you will get the result that you want. We have recommended Houman to a neighbor and to our friends. He is now helping them to solve their problems. Houman is not just our broker, he is someone who gave us our life back. We no longer have to work 7 days a week. We are now better parents. We are free from the burden of being slaves to our mortgage. We are instead working on our family: raising our small daughter, so in the end she will have grown up knowing mom and dad were always there. This is the most precious gift any parent could ever ask for, and we are so very grateful for al he has done.