OAKHURST — The motto at Yosemite Mortgage is, “your local hometown lender, doing more than others expect,” and the family company has been serving the mountain community with that in mind for decades, building relationships as a top priority.
It all began with Roger Schneider, born and raised in Fresno, and a resident of the mountain area since the 1960s. Roger spent 30 years with PG&E, mostly in customer service. He also worked in real estate during part of that time. Somewhere along the line, Roger saw what he believed was a need for better mortgage financing services in the mountain area.
He sought to start a company that could provide that superior service with greater access to affordable mortgage products. Yosemite Brokerage was formed.
Throughout the housing boom of the late 1990s and beyond, Yosemite Brokerage specialized in providing affordable construction financing, as well as home purchase and refinances.
In 2005, Roger’s son Nick, then a recent graduate of Yosemite High School, was brought into the business and they began working together as a father-son team. Nick was a young man in his prime, ready to pursue a life of his own, when an unexpected health challenge struck the family, requiring them to band together to see it through. Nick redirected his course and chose to passionately dedicate himself to the care of the family business. He persevered, learning the intricacies of the business and keeping it together during a time when many may have thrown in the towel.
The financial crisis of 2008 led to a severe downturn in the housing market, affecting the mortgage business for years to come. This drastically changed the landscape for the business as the entire mortgage industry went through a major overhaul and restructuring. Although this time period was extremely difficult, through sheer determination and solid relationships, Yosemite Brokerage was able to weather the storm.
As the market began to re-stabilize around 2012, the area started to see housing come back stronger, with an increase in numbers showing solid growth. This breathed new life into an industry that had seen severe setbacks in what had been a difficult time for many.
During this positive shift, it became apparent to Roger and Nick that this new time in Real Estate called for a new approach with a broader array of products to offer. Yosemite Brokerage had enjoyed a long and successful affiliation with national mortgage lender Sierra Pacific Mortgage. In December of 2013, they merged to form Yosemite Mortgage and now operate as a branch of Sierra Pacific Mortgage.
Working under the umbrella of Sierra Pacific Mortgage means better buying power and direct access to the government agencies that back most of the mortgage financing done in the nation. This has allowed Yosemite Mortgage to offer a greater number of financing options and mortgage products to the consumer, at a more affordable price.
Yosemite Mortgage has maintained its location in the center of Oakhurst, serving this community as extended family and friends. The beauty of utilizing a local company is multi-faceted, Nick says. Not only can you come in and share confidential information face-to-face with a knowledgeable person to answer all your questions, but you can watch in live time how your package is put together, becoming a part of the process.
One of the most important aspects of working with a local lender is their relationship with local service providers, mainly appraisers.
“Yes, you can call an ‘eight hundred’ number and contract for a discounted loan,” Nick warns, “and you may just learn personally the price and value of such a process. We not only utilize local appraisers but also work with the other necessary inspectors required, and that holds value.”
The value lies in that each region has specific needs and nuances that can have a profound effect on a home sale or purchase, explains Nick. If an appraiser is brought from out of the area, that person may not understand the types of systems in place, such as a drilled well, septic or even county code, whereas local licensed professionals will.
This makes a marked difference in the outcome of your appraisal, continues Nick, providing a more accurate quote, which will have an overall effect on your loan.
“We do ourselves a favor and save considerable time and effort when we look to the local professionals that specialize in the service we need. Yosemite Mortgage understands this process and we work to make it as smooth and hassle-free as possible, while ensuring our clients receive the best service possible.”
When you walk through the door of this local company, Nick says in that hour-and-a-half initial meeting not only are your credit, assets and income looked at, but also your comfort levels. You communicate more effectively one-on-one.
“Service is what we strive to provide, as we tailor your needs with a ‘yes we can’ attitude in everything that we do.”
Anyone can go online to secure a product, adds Nick, but if you really want to know what the process looks like, have your goals met, and learn the best approach to navigate those financial waters, he recommends Yosemite Mortgage because that’s what they do best, as they live and work here, as well.
Nick recalls his father Roger telling clients, “we are going to see each other in the grocery store, so I want to make sure and do a good job for you.”
This is the process of building a relationship, Nick notes, one that may last for decades.
Nick further details how Yosemite Mortgage is committed to being an integral part of the community and honoring the business partners that support them. They strive to help their clients achieve the American dream of home ownership, and reach financial stability, by providing mortgage solutions tailored to each client’s unique set of needs.
“We feel very fortunate to have been able to help thousands of families acquire mortgages to purchase, build, and refinance their homes. Besides the customers that we have been able to help we also feel blessed to have been able to employ such great people that we work with.”
Many of the staff have been with the company over a decade and, soon, Mary Day will retire after 20 years. Nick also shares that he is blessed to have his beautiful wife Ericka sharing in the family business as the office manager and bookkeeper. Together they also share two beautiful daughters, Finley and Easton.
The Schneider family, and all of the staff at Yosemite Mortgage, truly express a hometown team spirit, working together with a positive attitude and a firm hand on the changing dynamics of the industry, while holding steady to their roots in the community.
When you have a need for a trusted and professional lender who also takes into consideration each of their clients’ personal needs, you now know there is a local company providing just that.
Yosemite Mortgage is a Sierra News Online community partner.