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Chris Salese

According to various online dictionaries, the word “story” could be defined as an account of incidents or events.

However, it may also be known as a widely-circulated rumor. In addition, “story” might be described as a set of rooms or an area making up one floor level of a building.

Before you read any further, please pause for a moment and think about the word ‘story.’

Now repeat the word three or four times to yourself, aloud or in your head; it doesn’t matter.

Most likely, when you are finished doing such, you will probably find your mind wandering off in an attempt to match the word to something in your life.

For instance, while growing up in New Jersey, I’ll never forget looking over the Hudson River at the New York City skyline where the most iconic buildings in the world stood and wondering how many “stories” tall was each one.

Maybe you remember a particular story you had to write for a teacher in school or perhaps you recall a story that you told your boss to avoid getting into trouble at your first real job.

Either way, the word “story” can stir up some pretty powerful memories and create new ones, too.

In the mortgage world, your home loan application must be a true story in order for you to successfully borrow money from a bank.

Your application is a story that’s told by you about you to your mortgage professional. Then your mortgage professional takes your story and tells it to the underwriter at the bank.

In some scenarios, the underwriter will even share your story with the management team at the bank for further consideration.

As with any good story, it has to be neatly packaged and strongly presented to win any approval awards.

Unfortunately, many times there are lots of stories within a story that could make your home loan application approval process very challenging.

As an example, your credit history can be full of stories, especially if you have any late payments or major derogatory credit items.

Then there’s your financial documentation that typically comes with an employment story and various asset stories, which if not told clearly will certainly become problematic.

On top of that, you may have past living arrangement stories.

Whether you are refinancing your current home or trying to purchase a new one — guess what? — your property will come with a story as well.

It’s important that your Realtor helps you understand the story of the home you are buying, and it’s critical that a licensed independent third party appraiser is able to verify that story for the bank who is lending you the money to buy it.

In the end, whatever the story is and whoever is telling it, should take their time to deliver it in the best way possible.

Altogether, each of these stories is basically another story level to your loan file, which ultimately is your success story to your lender.

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Chris Salese can be reached at or (707) 363-4439. He is a licensed California mortgage banker (NMLS 254469 /1850 CA BRE 01377933/01215943) and equal housing lender.