Customer Testimonials

We work very hard for our customers because nothing pleases us more than helping our clients acheive the dream of affordable home ownership. We want to add you to our list of very satisfied customers.

Read what others have said about working with us:

This review is long long overdue! John Holmgren and his team made it possible for us to buy our first house in 2012! This was back in the days when getting a loan to buy a house was still difficult due to all the regulations that had been put in place after the big crash on Wall Street but John expertly and patiently guided us through a rather complex process due to the fact that I'm a business owner and my wife had just gone back to work after we had our two boys! I truly don't believe any other mortgage broker would have succeeded in making it happen but John did and we were able to close on our first house after an 8-week escrow period. Thanks John! When we sold the first house after having completed a complete renovation 4 years later, we had such a great experience working with John and his team that we called him to put the financing in place for a second house. The first time around had been so challenging that I was afraid John would not want to work with us again but I called him and once again he made it happen. The second house was a much easier transaction but we still had bumps in the road when the sellers became difficult we decided to pull out of escrow at the last minute! John's expertise helped us get back on track and we were able to close on that same house in just a couple weeks. Thank you from the four of us for making our dreams of being homeowners become a reality twice already!

- Frederic B.
Berkeley, CA | July 04, 2017

John and his team are fantastic! I worked with them on the purchase loan for my family's first home and I knew I could always count on them throughout the process. John and Jared worked relentlessly with us and our realtor. They made the process so -dare I say EASY- and provided best in class customer service from the very first meeting. They are not only knowledgeable but he genuinely cared for our financial well being. They were able to answer all of our questions throughout the entire home buying process and made us feel comfortable. And in the end we secured an amazing rate! I highly recommend Holmgren and Associates!

- Marie P.
San Francisco, CA | June 27, 2017

John and his team are rock stars. As a first time home buyer and new to the Bay Area, I knew the whole process would be a challenge, but John made me feel comfortable and secure the whole time. He was always available to answer questions, even by phone on weekends (sorry about that, John), and made me feel very confident and taken care of. The process became complicated and a bit challenging at the end, but he and his team worked through it without making me feel nervous, which is quite the task because I easily get nervous. I am recommending Holmgren & Associates to any friends that are looking to buy a home, and I highly recommend them to you too, dear reader. You'll be very happy you chose them.

- Sashi M.
Oakland, CA | June 16, 2017

I rarely write reviews, but feel compelled to write one for John and his team because they were absolutely amazing. We had so many problems securing mortgage financing w/ other brokers, and were so lucky to have found Holmgren & Associates. They are extremely professional, they kept me in the loop about everything, and we closed 3 days earlier then we had originally planned. I would highly, highly recommend John and his team to anyone who is looking for financing. I feel confident that they will get the job done, and you will be moving into your new home in no time at all! 10 Stars!!

- Alex K.
Oakland, CA | June 07, 2017

Jim was incredibly helpful throughout the entire house-buying process. My husband and I are both first time homeowners and I'm a very type-A, detail oriented, and often anxious person. Jim was consistently kind, understanding, and most importantly, responsive to all of my questions and concerns. He never hesitated to take the time to talk to me and walk me through each step of the process. There's no one better out there!

- Kiki D
Los Angeles, CA | May 26, 2017

Jim Valler was the consummate mortgage advisor. He was patient, transparent, professional, knowledgable, and, all around, incredible to work with. He guidance was invaluable during the biggest decision of my family's life. I will be eternally grateful for the illumination he provided.

- Angel S.
San Leandro, CA | April 02, 2017

John Holmgren and his team are absolutely fantastic! Our loan process was pretty complicated. We were doing a home equity line on one home while trying to purchase a new home. John was incredibly patient with my family. He always kept his calm demeanor even when I am sure he wanted to pull his hair out! I am a new home buyer and he was great at explaining all the details with me and making sure I got the best rate possible. He made me feel really confident through the whole process and I trusted his team with every turn. I would recommend John to anyone looking buy or refinance their home.

- Corina Rochex
Oakland, CA | February 24, 2017

In September 2016 we were first-time home-buyers. We interviewed 3 different lenders who were highly recommended. We were not impressed with any of them -- they all acted like salesmen, using unnecessary lingo, proposing unnecessary services, such as piggy-back loans, HELOCs, etc. They just did not seem like players we wanted on our home-buying team. We found Holmgren, and Jim Valler specifically, through Yelp reviews. After working with Jim to complete our first real estate transaction, we must say that yes, all the reviews praising Jim Valler and the rest of the Holmgren team are accurate in their praiseworthiness! We scheduled an introductory meeting with Jim to discuss our needs and see if our personalities, attention to detail, and work ethic were similar, especially given our 3 failed attempts with other lenders. We thoughts that our introductory meeting would be about 1 hour long -- it ended up being 2.5 hours long -- and all of it positive. Jim really got to know us, our situation, our desires. Jim also provided all the answers regarding Holmgren, the transaction processes, and provided us with a detailed plan of all the documents we needed to gather. As we honed in on a property Jim and his team were right there. Everything we planned out 2 months before, was executed as explained to us and planned in advance. Jim was great at answering all the newby questions we had, and provided excellent explanations regarding actions of other players involved including the escrow company and insurance agent (we ended using Jim's home owners insurance recommendation). When it came time to lock in the interest rate, Jim sent us daily updates of the rates, as well as technical market analysis and interpretations. Jim was not some "money guy" you had you check up on all the time on, but was instead a proactive teammate and an adviser with excellent lending and market insight. Simply excellent! Detail-oriented, prompt follow up, clear communicator, and a professional. Sometimes you end up having your realtor over for dinner once the transaction is complete, but how often do you have your lending agent over for dinner? Yes, Jim Valler is that kind of a lending agent.

- Alex R.
Castro Valley, CA | February 11, 2017

I worked with Jim Valler to refinance my home. My situation was complicated and I know it was time consuming for Jim. Jim worked with me every step of the way, explained everything clearly and made very helpful suggestions. He responded promptly and throughly to questions and stayed in close touch throughout the whole process. I cannot recommend him highly enough!

- Cheryl W.
Walnut Creek, CA | December 27, 2016

I worked with Jim Valler for my recent home purchase and he was a joy to work with. He clearly explained everything to me, provided advice beyond what he was required to and was always available even on evenings and weekends. I could not recommend him higher!

- Jas J.
Oakland, CA | November 08, 2016

John Holmgren and his team were exceptional in guiding us through our first home purchase. I felt absolutely confident throughout the entire process. Working with a friendly, competent, and responsive team was truly a pleasure. I highly recommend Holmgren & Associates to anyone in the market for a new home.

- Paula
Sacramento, CA | November 07, 2016

John and his team were outstanding. The property we purchased had many easements and constraints that required communication and commitment to resolve. He and his team showed tremendous grit to bring our purchase to reality. They were more than just a mortgage firm. Thank you John and Shiela!!

- Daniel
Oakland, CA | October 11, 2016

I highly recommend Jim Valler. He was great at explaining things to my wife and I, and gave us plenty of useful information. I feel a lot more informed and educated on home mortgages thanks to him. He was also very quick in responding to my e-mails and inquiries. If you're looking for a home mortgage broker, I certainly would encourage you to reach out to Jim. ~Sean B.

- Sean
Oakland, CA | July 14, 2016

Rick did an outstanding job. He literally held our hand and walked us through every step of the re-fi process. He's a great guy, knowledgable, friendly and professional. I'm sure we will contact him if and when we decide to refinance our home and I will recommend him to all of my friends considering refinancing their homes as well.

- Regina
Alameda, CA | March 16, 2016

Jim Valler is a very trustworthy, hard working and skilled lender and got us great rates. I appreciated his straightforward approach to telling the layperson the components of the underwriting process and what the actual monthly and closings costs would be. We successfully bought a home in the Bay Area because we found a reputable skilled lender in Jim Valler. I highly recommend him.

- Phil Y.
Emeryville, CA | June 06, 2016

Jim and the entire team at Holmgren did an exceptional job at guiding me through my options for a jumbo loan refinance of my home. Everyone's communications to me were always clear and accurate, and they answered all of my questions quickly and thoroughly. The online document signing made it easy to track and keep pace with the frequent requests for more documentation. They even arranged for a notary to come to my house to sign all of the final documents which was very convenient for my wife and I. I highly recommend Jim and team for their outstanding teamwork and professionalism!

- Bill W.
Fremont, CA | May 22, 2016

wanted to drop you a note in order to express my thanks for helping us secure our dream house. Right now, while I'm not putting my shoulder to the wheel at Autodesk, we've been spending time packing and transferring things out to our new home, so this note has been a long time coming. Even though my wife worked directly with you most of the time, but I could imagine how much work that you had put into the process. Speaking of professionalism, we were impressed by how carefully and detailed that you looked at our application, you even pointed out some information that I could not think of, also helped me with my credit to have a better loan. On top of that, you was really patient with all of our "first-time home-buyer" questions and I know we have bunches of questions. I will never forget that you sent me emails almost every night to bring us up with the speed of the process, and even were there with us while we were signing off the documents with escrow. Speaking of collaboration, we appreciated your willingness to coordinate with escrow company, our agents and other related parties to make the loan/purchase possible. Without your help, we would have to run back and forth between other parties to have all the required documents. It was really a huge weight off our shoulders to know that we have you and the team looking out for us, especially it was our first time buying the house. Speaking of enthusiasm and friendliness, "Jim seems like he doesn't want to stop at all", :) you still help us with the post processes and all the related questions that we have after the loan was funded. You never know how much appreciated we were when you still keep researching for our questions, and gave us better suggestion. We'll sure try to recommend my friends who are looking for a mortgage advisor. We also look forward to doing business with you in the future and would be happy if we could keep in touch. You earned our trust, totally! To John, we just want to let you know how impressed and pleased we were while working with Jim during the process of our loaning. We dreaded the confusion and complication of it all but it couldn't have been an easier process, thanks to Jim. Again, thank for your help!

- Sara N.
Berkeley, CA | May 10, 2016

Jim was very patient with us over the course of three years to finally purchase our first home. We were a tough case from the beginning, but found Holmgren and Associates to be very patient. We appreciate the frank approach, and conservative mindset, along the the creativity it took to close our home we we needed it. We've already recommended them to friends and family and will continue to do so in the future.

- Tim L
San Francisco, CA | April 10, 2016

I can't say enough how much I appreciate John Holmgren's help in securing my loan. As a first time home buyer I was very nervous and pessimistic about my options. I thought maybe I'm just just a baby fish in the sea and no one is going to care about my small funds going towards my first home. John was very responsive and dedicated. He walked me through the whole process even though I had a million questions and fears. A few weeks later, I landed a house! Now I have my first home! Process was quick and painless. Not nearly as scary as I thought! Thank you very much!

- Christina
Danville, CA | April 05, 2016

I can't say enough how much I appreciate John Holmgren's help in securing my loan. As a first time home buyer I was very nervous and pessimistic about my options. I thought maybe I'm just just a baby fish in the sea and no one is going to care about my small funds going towards my first home. John was very responsive and dedicated. He walked me through the whole process even though I had a million questions and fears. A few weeks later, I landed a house! Now I have my first home! Process was quick and painless. Not nearly as scary as I thought! Thank you very much!

- Christina C.
Danville, AZ | February 25, 2016

John Holmgren is great. We were first time home-buyers on a tight budget buying a house off-the-grid in the country that was not a typical deal for the realtors, both of whom drove us nuts with theatrics and pressure and threats to the point we ignored them and just listened to John. The realtors must have driven him nuts too, but it didn't show. He stayed sane and calm and we got it done, thanks to him. Five stars.

- Devin C.
Oakland, CA | February 25, 2016

John and his team recently helped me with providing a financing solution for my new home. I was extremely impressed with their ability to make things happen within a tight time frame. This is the team I needed to support my goal within the crazy Bay Area real estate market. Without them I am not sure I would have been able to get the home I was after.

- Mary B.
Salinas, CA, CA | February 22, 2016

Ayata is just an amazing professional. She is proactive and an excellent problem solver. The stress of buying a home can be overwhelming for many people. Ayata's sensitivity to client concerns makes the process easier and the outcome very successful!

- Maria S.
Oakland, CA | June 14, 2015

John Holmgren was an important part of the team that helped get us our house. His reputation is excellent in the local real estate community which makes a difference when submitting an offer. He was able to arrange a very quick close that allowed us to make a competitive winning bid against at least 9 others.

- Emily G.
Alameda, CA | June 03, 2015

When buying a home, one of the things a lot of people don't realize is how important the mortgage broker is. Especially in this competitive market, we were always one of a dozen strong offers. We truly believe that having a well-regarded person like John Holmgren's name on our offer helped, but also having him and Jim Valler follow through on an extremely fast escrow period did wonders. We just closed on our first home and are extremely excited and relieved. We could not have done this with intact sanity had they not been so patient, clear, responsive and supportive during such a stressful time.

- Kara R.
Oakland, CA | May 12, 2015

My husband and I just worked with John Holmgren on the pre-approval and mortgage process and have nothing but great things to say about our experience. His service and responsiveness were top notch and we always felt that he was working hard for us and our best interests. We would highly recommend John to others!

- J J
Oakland, CA | April 30, 2015

Ayata Colbert and Jim Valler are nothing short of superlative. As a team, they will be present, patient, and persistent as you navigate the maze of mortgage procurement. Months after our deal has closed, Ayata continues to make herself available for advice. It is clear that she is in the business of building lasting relationships, in addition to closing deals. When purchasing a property, especially a first home, you want to be in the company of folks who can help you make split second decisions that will have dramatic impacts on your life for many years to come. You can trust Ayata and Jim--we did! And will recommend them to anyone who will listen.

- Matthew D
Oakland, CA | March 06, 2015

John Holmgren is an amazing lending agent. He worked very hard for us, always kept us informed of what pieces of information we needed for each submission and worked hard to ensure that our lending process went smoothly. We really appreciate how quick he was to respond and all of his help. We would strongly recommend using him in the future.

- Alan M.
Alameda, CA | February 02, 2015

My review is for Holmgren Associates - Ms. Ayata Colbert. I came into the housing market - due to rising rent prices. I found a realtor who I trusted and liked and asked for a recommended loan officer. I was referred to Ms. Colbert, and boy was that a blessing! Of course the process is long and daunting - but please believe me that choosing your loan officer is the single most important decision you can make towards securing a good/great loan. You want someone who knows their business and can close. Ms. Colbert not only closed my loan in less than 5 weeks - but got me a rate that was 1.4 percent LOWER than expected. And she told me on Christmas Day that the loan was 100 % approved and a go...! This woman works - I'm not completely sure she even sleeps! Well, needless to say I am very happy that I found this wonderful woman, and that she could help me. Ms. Colbert can tailor a loan to your individual circumstances because she does her homework. I highly recommend Holmgren Associates and specifically Ms. Colbert for your home loan needs - professional, competent, honest - and gets the job done!

- Diana L.
Hayward, CA | January 20, 2015

This is my first Yelp review ever. I signed up specifically so that I could write this review because Holmgren & Associates were amazing. I worked with John Holmgren and Jim Valler. They were excellent. I can not imagine a better experience while buying our first home. They have great advice, clear instructions, were a pleasure to work with, and they are completely trustworthy. (purchase)10/13/2014

- Byron G.
Oakland, CA | October 14, 2014

Jim Valler and everyone at Holmgren were excellent. I worked with John Holmgren for much longer in the process than I was expecting as he is the owner of the business. When I was transferred to Jim for the remainder of the process I thought for a moment that now I was going to get the flunkey. Man was I wrong, Jim was incredibly professional, patient, and above all a really kind and thoughtful person. I would never thought such a friendly sweet person would be responsible for taking care of all my paperwork. The process went so smoothly that we were ready to close a week before our actual closing date. I also think that due to doing so much online through their site and via email it seemed like the stack of papers to sign for the loan was quite small and manageable on the day of closing. It's funny to say about a mortgage provider, but I really enjoyed working with them, and would not hesitate to do it again. (purchase)

- Glen M.
Vallejo, CA | September 30, 2014

I recently worked with Ayata Colbert and purchased my first home. She was very professional, pleasant and easy to get in contact with. She was able to explain everything in every step of the process and made this a great experience. I highly recommend her.

- Rodney S.
Hayward, CA | September 24, 2014

Could not have asked for more from Holmgren & Associates! Secured funding with John for our first purchase, and again for our next home. John and Jim we're great. Personable, communicative, responsive. Closed quickly, even with the Labor Day holiday falling within the closing period. Will be back for whatever project comes next. Thank you!! (purchase)09/17/2014

- Chris L.
Oakland, CA | September 18, 2014

It is with great pleasure that I write this letter of recommendation for Gary McDonald. Myself, as well as several of my family members have used Gary to obtain home loans or refinancing. From start to finish Gary is very informative. Gary explains the meaning and purpose of all documents required, signed and submitted. I was constantly updated on the process of my loan, and if any additional information was required, Gary was happy to work around my busy schedule. I appreciate working with an honest and knowledgeable loan agent, and I will continue to use Gary for my future mortgage needs. He really does " Make Getting a Loan Easy!". (refinance)09/02/2014

- Jesse B.
Hayward, CA | September 03, 2014

Have had great experience working with John and his staff. They have handled several purchase loans and refinances for us, some of them complicated, always professionally and competently. (purchase) 08/16/2014

- Joshua R.
Berkeley, CA | August 18, 2014

Holmgrem and Associates recently facilitated a complicated transaction for our family, involving four buyers. We had been searching for a property in Berkeley CA for a year, and had a number of unaccepted offers. John Holmgrem and his staff were extremely helpful and patient during this long process, and were always willing to answer questions and guide us. What might have been an extremely daunting experience was made so much easier by this team of wonderful people. Definitely five star! (purchase) 08/14/2014

- Carla M.
Concord, CA | August 14, 2014

This review is long overdue. We first met John when we were just starting our search. John was patient, informative, and helpful as he offered information to get us oriented to the daunting world of mortgages and loans. When it was time to put an offer in, John and his team came together to help us get our house...all the way through to the last signature. Thank you John and company for all of your hard work and support! (purchase) 08/13/2014

- Stan K.
San Francisco, CA | August 14, 2014

Thanks to Ayata I recently purchased my first home; I will admit it was the most daunting process of my life, but Ayata coached me all the way through. There were times when I wanted to give up, but because of her persistence, I persevered. Ayata was consistent, truthful and really had my best interest at heart. She explained the home buying process to me in terms I could understand, which was important to me, considering all of the horror stories you hear about real estate agents, loan officers and the like, but I must say, that was not my experience. When I first began the process I did not have a real estate agent, which I of course shared with Ayata, she put me in contact with an agent and the three of us worked very well together, it's as if she knew the kind of agent that would best fit my needs. If you're in the market for a home and need assistance with the home buying process, and want a loan officer you can trust, I highly recommend Ayata Colbert. (purchase) 08/12/2014

- Rashon S.
Oakland, CA | August 13, 2014

Yelp needs more than five stars for people like BRENDA WYATT. As first time homebuyers, we were pretty clueless on the whole process of buying a home. Brenda went out her way details of the loan process and literally could not have done it without her. She was always very prompt in answering emails and returning phone calls. She kept us updated throughout the whole process. She's very efficient, responsive, and professional. We highly recommend Brenda, especially if you're a first time buyer. She'll take the time to explain what can be quite a complicated process. (purchase) 08/04/2014

- Sonam W.
Oakland, CA | August 05, 2014

It's rare to find someone like John Holmgren with so many years of experience and yet he looks so young! John is well-respected amongst the Realtor community for being so consistent in his approach to his business. He's excellent at taking a very complicated situation and breaking it down to make it manageable. It's no small feat getting a loan these days, but John has earned a very positive reputation for helping buyers navigate the process and actually be thrilled by the end of it! 08/04/2014

- Michael S.
Alameda, CA | August 05, 2014

I have worked with Mari Parsnick on my own loan and also referred her to many of my clients. She has taken what looked like impossible situations and helped my clients strengthen their position to the lender. I also appreciate that she helps write pre-approval letters last minute and always seems to have time even when she's on vacation! Once the offer is accepted, she is tireless in overseeing the millions of tasks that are required to process a simple loan these days. Afterwards, my clients are so thrilled they were able to buy when they did and they continue to use Mari as a resource to refinance. 08/04/2014

- Michael S.
Alameda, CA | August 05, 2014

We found Brenda through the Yelp reviews. She exceeded our expectations every step of the way. Brenda was extremely responsive, professional and very patience. Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions that you make in your life and it was such a joy to have a Brenda that we could trust to help us through the crazy process of purchasing a home. Specially, first time home buyer just call Brenda... she is real deal. We would highly recommend Brenda to anyone looking to buy a house. Wish we had more stars to click. (BRENDA THE GREAT) (purchase) 08/01/2014

- Ngawang L.
Oakland, CA | August 05, 2014

John, together with his staff, were very efficient and thorough. They are quick to communicate and respond to any of our concerns. I will highly recommend John to my clients and friends. (purchase) 08/01/2014

- Jennifer M.
Alameda, CA | August 04, 2014

Warmest thanks to Gary for all of your hard work and outstanding efforts. I know how much time and energy this assignment demanded, and I deeply appreciate all of your efforts to make it a great success. As always, it’s great to know that I can count on you to go the extra mile. Thanks again!!!

- Norina M. (Keller Williams realtor)
Tracey, CA | July 31, 2014

This review is for Brenda Wyatt who is exceptional! While we communicated mostly over email and phone, she responded at all times to questions that we had. She explained everything and made the process infinitely easier for us as we were first time home-buyers. She is personable and always steered us in the right direction. We greatly enjoyed working with her as she is a highly organized person, which is an asset to have on your side. Her coworker, Vealetta, was also a great help. After our loan closed, she helped me with a problem at the title company and offered to help if I had any other questions that came up. If you want someone who will help you through all the forms and documentation, explain the process in the clearest manner, and who also is a kind and professional mortgage advisor, then Brenda Wyatt is a great choice. We can say nothing, but give the highest praise and recommend her to anyone! (purchase) 7/29/2014

- Natasha J.
El Cerrito, CA | July 30, 2014

When I first started the buying process I was referred to John Holmgren through my Realtor, but being a first time buyer, I had no idea what to expect from the whole process. Throughout every step of the way John and his colleagues were extremely polite, professional, and extremely helpful! They were able to provide wonderful, concise information to help us better understand the process without "dumbing it down" for us. They provided great insight into our different options, and their expertise and assistance was really above and beyond our expectations. I don't plan on buying another house soon, but if I ever need a mortgage broker, or know someone that needs one, Holmgren and Associates is definitely the place to go! (purchase) 07/02/2014

- Maggie F.
San Leandro, CA | July 03, 2014

Working with Brenda Wyatt was nothing short of stellar. It's amazing when you meet people who seem to magically make things happen! Because we are self-employed, my husband and I were nervous about applying for a mortgage. Brenda made it very simple for us. She patiently explained the mortgage application process, provided us with clear instructions, and gave us the heads up about the kinds of information lenders might need. She consistently took the time to answer questions that came up. She was always very professional, yet in a warm and very sweet way. Throughout the process of selling our condo and making an offer on a home, Brenda and her amazing assistant Vealetta were in constant communication with us. I imagine that since we are self-employed, it probably caused some behind-the-scenes headaches and amped up the volume of paperwork, but they never let on. In the end, not only did Brenda get us a mortgage with an awesome rate, she was able to close our loan in 19 days. In short, if you're looking for a mortgage, give Brenda a call. You won't regret it! (purchase) 06/02/2014

- Christine C.
Oakland, CA | July 02, 2014

I just bought a home with Brenda's help. I am so thankful to Brenda and her assistant. I found them to both be very personable. Brenda was always responsive to my questions. If you are thinking about giving her a call, don't hesitate. (purchase) 07/01/2014

- Lida N.
Oakland, CA | July 02, 2014

I am grateful to Brenda for her knowledge and personal support during my recent re-finance. From beginning to end, Brenda was there for me. At each step, she patiently explained the process and answered questions to help me understand the requirements and all the terms of my loan. She was quick to respond to e-mail and telephone queries, and met with me personally to review my questions and concerns. She and her assistant Vealetta spent time and effort to resolve technical issues which were unique to my situation. Brenda expedited the timely closing of my loan, coordinating with all parties involved. Her good guidance gave me assurance and reduced my anxiety during the entire process. She went above and beyond. She truly was my personal Mortgage Advisor and I appreciate her professionalism and guidance. (refinance) 07/01/2014

- Sharon C.
Oakland, CA | July 02, 2014

I was referred to Miren by an Attorney assisting with Trust issues involved with a reverse mortgage. I am so pleased that we met and have had a chance to bond. Not only does she work miracles, Miren is very personable, and I feel as though I have known her forever. I still cannot believe she and her husband took the time to attend my Dad's memorial service. He passed before we closed the reverse mortgage loan. Miren kept things in perspective, and assured me that we would get through this. I call her my angel. I had to take care of things for my parents, and am still caring for my mom. I get stressed and anxious often, but I know that I can run things by Miren and she will share her wisdom. I am truly thankful for her assistance and knowledge. I have worked in the mortgage industry and I know how rules often change. It is pertinent to work with someone who knows the business and takes the time to explain matters. I am always thankful and amazed at how thorough she is. I know she works extremely hard, but makes it appear effortless. Miren goes above and beyond. I really appreciate her strong work ethics. She did more than she had to do to ensure we closed on time and she also pushed to get things done that were not within her area of responsibility (truly amazing and impressive). Thank you Miren for helping me through a really tough ordeal. I especially appreciate your attendance at the signing. That was really comforting. You are a ROCK STAR. (reverse mortgage) 06/20/2014

- Karen W.
San Francisco, CA | June 23, 2014

John Holmgren of Holmgren & Associates, was a great help in securing my reverse mortgage. He answered all my questions, he was readily available both by phone and in person, and most importantly, he helped me save a great deal of money. The reverse mortgage has allowed me to experience relief after six difficult years which began when I lost my teaching job at the start of the recession. I highly recommend Holmgren & Associates for any mortgage needs. (reverse mortgage)

- Phyllis P.
Oakland, CA | June 19, 2014

Ayata and Walter helped me with a difficult condo purchase. Ayata was very professional and provided information and helped me find a lender that would accept our limited paperwork that the Seller/HOA had provided. In Ayata's absence Walter always provided information on time and was very professional. It was a difficult purchase because of lack of paperwork from the other side and some accounting errors/issues with the other sides paperwork, but Ayata worked hard to find a lender and succeeded in getting my loan approved. (purchase) 06/09/2014

- Bip W.
Oakland, CA | June 10, 2014

My wife and I just completed a reverse mortgage with John Holmgren. It was an easy and pleasurable experience. The service rendered was efficient, courteous, and thorough. Do not hesitate to use this provider when contemplating this type of mortgage. He will provide all the information you need to make an intelligent decision. (reverse mortgage) 06/03/2014

- William C.
Gualala, CA | June 03, 2014

We worked with Jim to refinance our mortgage. Jim was knowledgeable about all details and options. The entire process went smoothly. It was a pleasure to work with him. (refinance) 05/30/2014

- Thomas S.
Oakland, CA | June 02, 2014

These guys are FANTASTIC! I had what appeared to be an impossible property to purchase- John and Jim made it happen. It involved the sale of two homes to purchase a 100 acre ranch. Not an easy task when one of the properties is a rental property with two individual tenants (1031 exchange), and the purchase property is zoned for agriculture, that required a commercial loan. Finding a lender to loan on that much land with our down payment was almost impossible. Jim worked tirelessly to find a lender after I told him how much it meant to our family to be able to raise our children in the country. When I felt all bets were off and we couldn't find a lender, ready to "pull the plug" on our dream, Jim called me around 7PM on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day. He told me he had just found a company that would carry the loan for us. I will never forget that moment, it has truly changed our lives and we are forever grateful the Holmgren staff. Both John and Jim displayed an impeccable level of professionalism and knowledge throughout the five month process. Without any reserve I would recommend them to my family and friends. Thanks again guys! (purchase) 5/27/2014

- Brian B.
San Leandro, CA | May 28, 2014

I am a licensed real estate sales person working at Alameda's Gallagher and Lindsey Realtors office. I have been licensed since 1984. I am eager to praise the services of Holmgren & Associates and John Holmgren. In today's market a buyers, be they first-time buyers or experienced home buyers, buyers need honest, experienced and attentive representation on the mortgage side of buying a property. It is rare to find that buyers are informed in completely helpful fashion and supported throughout the buying process by mortgage brokers. As an agent I can do many things to bring awareness and success into the process of finding a home and getting through the escrow period. Still, the finance part with all its reviews and underwriting steps so critical in a "hot market." A buyer needs the professional guidance and responsiveness of professional experts. In a number of recent home purchases Holmgren & Associates has made the difference for my buyers from being home buyers or also-rans in the competitive bidding process. I suggest that any home seeker will do very well by teaming up with John Holmgren and Holmgren& Associates. 05/27/2014

- John M.
Alameda, CA | May 27, 2014

I must say that this was my first house I have ever purchased. Brenda was always available and willing to answer all my questions. She made sure I had the right info to make a good and educated decision about how to proceed with my buy. I will use her again when it comes to my next purchase. It was a great experience. Thanks Brenda. (purchase) 02/03/2014

- Glenn H.
Oakland, CA | May 20, 2014

We chose Brenda as our loan officer before starting our home buying process. She was recommended to me by a friend. She is professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. My partner and I are both professionals with pretty inflexible hours, but that was not an issue for Brenda. She made herself available when we were both available to talk with her. She helped us get a loan to purchase our first home. She was fast, accurate, and made the process easy. She introduced us to realtors and had at least one contact for anything we needed throughout the process. (purchase) 03/01/2014

- Jessica T.
San Leandro, CA | May 20, 2014

Holmgren and Assoc. made the refinancing of our second home extremely manageable and stress free. We live out of state and never actually met anyone from the office, but the distance was never a problem. We highly recommend John Holmgren and would use them again in a heartbeat. (refinance) 04/02/2014

- Diane W.
Houston, TX | May 19, 2014

I have no doubt the mortgage service I received from Holmgren and Assoc. was instrumental in gettin gmy bid accepted in this extremely competitive market. (purchase) 04/24/2014

- Robert O.
Oakland, CA | May 19, 2014

Mari worked extremely hard to make everything happen within a very tight timeframe. She was thorough, patient, and made the experience understandable and manageable. (purchase) 05/10/2014

- Laurel W.
Alameda, CA | May 19, 2014

I felt very comfortable with Mari and she spent time with me showing me how I could be eligible for more financing than expected. I'm conservative with my finances, but she was able to cut through the bs and explain how I could make the best offer possible while still feeling safe financially. (purchase and refinance) 02/01/2014

- Joe C.
Sacramento, CA | May 19, 2014

After renting a house for many years, I ended up buying it from my landlord, and it was she who referred me to Holmgren & Associates. As this was my first house purchase, I was overwhelmed and often suspicious of the process, but John Holmgren quickly established himself as someone I could trust. In the end, he not only handled my mortgage but provided indispensable counsel. There were a few times when I thought the deal would fall through, and I'm sure it would have if it weren't for John. Jim Valler also helped with the transaction, and he helped explain some of the finer details. He was personable as well as accessible, and a real pleasure to work with. I can't say enough about the support that I received from Holmgren & Associates. (purchase) 4/25/2014

- Robert S.
Fremont, CA | April 29, 2014

My experience with Brenda started with me calling her office and leaving a message, urgently needing a pre-approval letter for an offer I wanted to make, on a Saturday afternoon. Brenda called me back within an hour, was extremely helpful, and got me the needed document that evening. From that moment, Brenda highly available and worked hard to make my home-buying experience the best it could be. I had some very unique financial situations that needed to be worked through, and Brenda and her assistant took them in stride and remained pleasant and helpful throughout. I loved that fact that we were able to complete the application online, upload my documents to her secure server and electronically sign the disclosures, with my travel schedule that helped make the process stress-free.I could not recommend Brenda highly enough. She was very open and clear about all of the steps that needed to be gone through, many of which I was not aware of, and she managed to make something that has the reputation of being a painful, drawn out experience, the exact opposite. I highly recommend utilizing Brenda's knowledge and professional services when you next need them. Thank you!! (purchase) 03/12/2014

- Lynn M.
Emeryville, CA | March 18, 2014

I had the "Holy Grail" of home loans.... and Brenda never gave up on me! Every time we would get close to finishing another obstacle would be thrown in our path. I became very discouraged and I honestly never thought I would become a homeowner. Brenda was always encouraging. I have been in my home for over a year now and I am thankful everyday that Brenda was so persistent and never gave up even when I thought there was no hope! I have recommended many friends and colleagues to Brenda and all have that have used her also sing her praises. (purchase) 3/07/2014

- Laini P.
Oakland, CA | March 10, 2014

I contacted Brenda to discuss my refinance options. She was extremely patient with my barrage of questions and scenarios and gave me all the time and information I needed to feel comfortable in order to move forward with my plan. Brenda Wyatt is a professional that goes above and beyond your expectations for the best rate and service. She takes the guess work out of financing. I found Brenda to be the most honest, knowledgeable and patient loan officer. I highly recommend working with Brenda.(refinance) 2/10/2014

- Nina G.
Oakland, CA | February 11, 2014

Holmgren and Associates did a STELLAR job with our very complicated re-finance. This was our first loan, and we had numerous questions and hurdles to overcome, but John Holmgren and Jim Valler were incredible-- they patiently answered all of our questions, returned all of our calls and emails in a very timely manner, got us a SUPER competitive interest rate and successfully completed all of the most important steps of the loan process for us quickly and efficiently where other brokers simply fell short. Literally. Holmgren and Associates were the only mortgage brokers able to secure us a loan given the nature of our finances and the exact requirements of the transaction. (refinance) 1/03/2014

- Finley W.
Alameda, CA | January 30, 2014

THE LOAN PRE-APPROVAL PROCESS WAS STRAIGHTFORWARD AND VERY PAINLESS. Very happy with the service, professionalism and information provided during the process. Also satisfied with the interest rate that I received for the loan. (purchase) 1/07/2014

- James T.
Oakland, CA | January 30, 2014

My family and I were trying our hardest to buy a house, but our attempts were in vain until we met John Holmgren through our real estate agent, John McNulty. Our financial background to get a loan was nearly impossible, because we don't have extensive work history since we're immigrants from Vietnam and low income. However, John Holmgren helped us through each and every process, and made it possible for us to finance a loan for our first accepted offer! It was a lot of work, but he always showed my family and me such kindness and understanding. I would recommend John Holmgren and his company to anyone in a heartbeat! (purchase) 01/23/2014

- Anh N.
Alameda, CA | January 28, 2014

Jim Valler was outstanding. Very knowledgable and personable - he made the process as easy as possible. I recommend him very highly! (refinance) 1/03/2014

- Janet G.
Oakland, CA | January 07, 2014

Brenda Wyatt moved like lightening to prepare a pre-approval letter within 25 minutes of our request on a Sunday night. Brenda's experience and trustworthy advice prepared my partner and I for the huge responsibilities and knowledge required to purchase our first home the right way. We were able to meet with Brenda on recommendation from a friend and we could not have asked for a better referral. Brenda did a fantastic job for us by making purchasing our home a painless and rewarding process. (purchase) 1/06/2014

- Rodger T.
San Francisco, CA | January 07, 2014

I recently bought my home with a loan from American Pacific Mortgage. I'm an older person with a small income and have never purchased a home by myself before.The Branch Manager, John Holmgren was a big help guiding me through the paperwork process. I obtained a good interest rate and there was no delay in getting the loan. I was able to buy the perfect house. I highly recommend John Holmgren and his company. (purchase) 12/27/2013

- Barb H.
Alameda, CA | December 31, 2013

Holmgren and Associates did a STELLAR job with our very complicated re-finance. This was our first loan, and we had numerous questions and hurdles to overcome, but John and Jim Valler and Co. were all incredible-- they patiently answered all of our questions, returned all of our calls and emails in a very timely manner, got us a super competitive interest rate and successfully completed all of the most important steps of the loan process for us quickly and efficiently where other brokers simply fell short. My wife and I recommend Holmgren and Associates wholeheartedly and unreservedly!!! (refinance) 12/20/2013

- Finley W.
Alameda, CA | December 23, 2013

We used John Holmgren for our first house purchase in Oakland after reading the great Yelp reviews. I wanted to work with someone local as I suspected that my finances were going to be complicated and I wanted a good relationship with our realtor. As it turned out, my finances were complicated beyond what I could possibly have imagined. I already had a mortgage in another country, part-funded the deposit from foreign savings and had tax returns prepared for me that I barely understand. I was not an easy customer for John to work with! Despite this, I could not have been happier with the experience we had. Not only did he work well with our realtor, but he followed through on all his commitments, patiently explained all the quirks of the US mortgage process and navigated us through all of the red tape to a successful approval and closure. Had I just gone with a big national company I cannot imagine I would have received such personal, thorough and responsive service. I would not hesitate to use Holmgren & Associates again. (purchase) 12/17/2013

- Ben C.
San Francisco, CA | December 19, 2013

John Holmgren was originally referred to me by a real estate agent over 20 years ago. Since that time, John has obtained mortgages for me and done refinancing on several homes. There is no better place to go for financing or refinancing a home! John is responsive, resourceful, and very well organized. His office is efficient, and everyone I have worked with there is excellent. John has been in the loan business for decades and has developed strong, positive relationships with banks and lenders. During one of my transactions, the funding of the loan was delayed a few days, escrow was scheduled to close, so John arranged an immediate, same day short term loan to cover the gap of a few days. John goes way beyond what anyone would expect of a loan broker. I recommend Holmgren & Associates very highly! (purchase) 12/12/2013

- Neil T.
Berkeley, CA | December 17, 2013

We were referred to John Holmgren by our real estate agent and assured that we would be in good hands. For our first meeting with John, he generously agreed to meet us on a Saturday and in talking with him, we immediately felt comfortable based on his evident experience and understanding of our needs. We worked with a mortgage advisor on his team for most of the administrative work, but were impressed that John continued to be engaged and guided us on important decisions throughout the process. During the escrow process there were a couple of scrambles for urgent paperwork, but perhaps that should be expected for the very fast close that we successfully achieved! All in all, I highly recommend! (purchase) 12/12/2013

- Ariana L.
Oakland, CA | December 17, 2013

I met John over ten years ago when I bought my first home. He was recommended by a dear friend and I have been so grateful for that recommendation ever since. John was also there for me when I sold my first home and bought the second. Again, years later....John assisted me with the easiest re-fi anyone could possibly ask for. We exchanged emails and documents and within one was all said and done in record time. John is efficient, professional, caring, honest, trustworthy and just about all around great. His team of employees reflect his character and knowledge. It is a pleasure working with this group of people. There are not enough words to express my pleasure working with John Holmgren and Associates. John is awesome and so are his staff. Thanks John again and again!!!!! (refinance) 12/12/2013

- Adriana C.
San Francisco, CA | December 17, 2013

I have worked with Holmgren & Associates twice over the past 10 years, the first time at the suggestion of our realtor, the second time because the first experience was so good. While banks now make getting a loan much more difficult, the team at Holmgren stayed on top of the process, and after a lot documentation, and emails, they completed getting a very good loan for me. (refinance) 12/12/2013

- Brent K.
Oakland, CA | December 17, 2013

John Holmgren did a refinance for me a few months ago and I am so pleased with the services of John and his team, I highly recommend him. This was the second time I worked with John on a refi within the last 10 years. He is professional, he works quickly and most importantly he is honest. John will explain in detail what is possible in your situation and he will not recommend a loan that is not in your best interest. When interest rates dropped a few years ago I contacted John about a doing a refi. The real estate market had tanked after the 2008 economic crisis and it wasn't an option for me at that time, but his office kept in touch with me over the last few years and when the market rebounded we sprang into action and I was able to get a new loan with better terms and a much lower interest rate. I feel so relieved and grateful that John was there to help me.(refinance) 12/11/2013

- Brooke B.
Oakland, CA | December 17, 2013

I've known John for years and have worked with him for the purchase of two homes. He's always been responsive, professional, and easy to work with. I'd easily recommend him to anyone who's considering getting financing for a home. (purchase) 12/11/2013

- Kim B.
Oakland , CA | December 17, 2013

I contacted Brenda after reading about her in the SF Chronicle. We had difficulty refinancing our daughter's home with Bank of America. After my first conversation with Brenda, I felt confident in her ability to get it done. We were initially working with Bank of America for 4 months. Brenda got it done in less than a month with an awesome rate. I highly recommend her services. The nice thing is she stays in touch long after the transaction. It become much more than a business relationship which is nice in this time automated response systems and overseas call centers.(refinance) 11/25/2013

- Doug M.
San Francisco, CA | November 26, 2013

I worked with a lot of people during the process of buying my house, and all were a lot of help, but John's support was indispensable. This purchase wouldn't have happened without him. (purchase) 11/05/2013

- Robert S.
Fremont, CA | November 21, 2013

The customer service we experienced was amazing. The team really took their time to explain this very new and unfamiliar process of home buying. Everything went very smoothly which was due to the behind the scenes hard work of the team. (purchase) 11/02/2013

- Christina D.
Newark, CA | November 04, 2013

Brenda Wyatt is great to work with. My wife and I worked with Brenda to get our first home loan and then a year later worked with her again to refinance due to favorable market conditions. My wife and I were new to the all the mortgage lingo and knew very little about requirements and specifics of the process. Brenda took the time to explain the process to us and answer all of our newbie questions without making us feel inferior for our lack of knowledge. Brenda has excellent customer service and follow through. We were always able to get a hold of her through email and phone calls, sometimes even after normal business hours. I had some property tax questions many months after we closed escrow, so I called Brenda for some help. I left her a voicemail and she called me back right away ! Given the opportunity, I would definitely choose to work with Brenda in the future. (refinance) 10/15/2013

- Jeremy W.
San Mateo, CA | October 15, 2013

John's team made everything work for a complicated buyers transaction. (realtor) 10/02/2013

- Troy S.
Alameda, CA | October 02, 2013

Brenda Wyatt is exceptional! She gives personalized, intelligent, professional service and all with a big smile and happy attitude. It was a pleasure being a client and I highly recommend her!
(refinance) 06/27/2013

- Anne B.
Oakland, CA | August 16, 2013

Brenda Wyatt is phenominal! As a first time buyer, I was very ignorant about the process, not to mention terrified. Brenda was exceptionally responsive to my agents numerous, late night requests for pre-approval letters and she was very responsive to my questions. I feel blessed to have had Brenda as my mortgage advisor. She got me an awesome rate to boot! Thank you Brenda for taking such good care of me!
(purchase) 06/27/2013

- Kimberly T.
Oakland, CA | August 16, 2013

Mari was very efficient in getting us a short closing. She also was helpful in answering all our questions.
(purchase) 06/23/2013

- Tiffany M.
Oakland, CA | August 16, 2013

The service was outstanding. I refinanced both my home and my rental. The approach was innovative. This allowed me to qualify. Every detail was carefully attended to. Staff helped at all levels. The whole process was kept moving by attention to time deadlines as they came up. I would recommend them for any loan, as their service is superior.
(refinance) 06/05/2013

- Dennis W.
Oakland, CA | August 16, 2013

John Holmgren and Jim Valler were extremely responsive and timely as we both refinanced our home and bought a second home. Their excellent service made the entire process tremendously rewarding.
(purchase and refinance) 06/04/2013

- Christina B.
Oakland, CA | August 16, 2013

Jim Valler was able to do what Union Bank and Western Federal Credit Union were not -- re-finance my mortgage! Jim was pleasant, patient and effective...what more could you want? Thank you so very much Holmgren and Assoc.!
(refinance) 06/03/2013

- Lisa R.
Oakland, CA | August 16, 2013

Thanks John, it was a smooth transaction on the loan side and quick close. .. Appreciate your professional service!
(realtor) 06/01/2013

- Perry R.
Oakland, CA | August 16, 2013

John Holmgren and his staff performed excellent service.
(refinance) 06/01/2013

- Matt P.
Oakland, CA | August 16, 2013

Being a realtor I know many mortgage brokers and chose to use Mari for our home purchase. I have referred clients to Mari in the past and will not hesitate to do so in the future.
(purchase) 05/30/2013

- Izumi T.
Oakland, CA | August 16, 2013

Brenda is exceptionally responsive, friendly and helpful. Her patience is legendary...
(purchase) 05/2/2013

- Ian D.
Oakland, CA | August 16, 2013

Brenda was extremely easy to work with. She explained every step in plain English and made sure to make herself available to answer any questions we had. She also worked with our schedules which was a huge help. We were purchasing with a smaller budget (for the bay area) and at no point did she make us feel uncomfortable about that. We had spoken to another broker previously who did make us feel like we were not really worth the time. Because of foundation repairs that we were partially paying for during escrow, Brenda suggested that we take a very slightly higher rate in exchange for a credit at closing. While this will be more expensive in the long run we really needed the extra cash at closing and were glad that she suggested it. Brenda made the process of buying with an FHA loan completely smooth. We experienced none of the horror stories that we had heard about these loans. Our financing was a non issue - which was exactly what we wanted it to be!
(purchase) 03/21/2013

- Alsion S.
Oakland, CA | August 16, 2013

I was very happy with my experience. Brenda was kind, professional, informative, patient, friendly. A great person to work with.

- Marie-Therese E.
Oakland, CA | August 16, 2013

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Holmgren and Associates

DBA of Finance of America
1900 Mountain Boulevard
Oakland, California 94611
Phone: 510-339-2121
NMLS 0910184/1071

Holmgren & Associates is a branch of Finance of America. We are a full service mortgage banker with an experienced staff offering expertise in residential mortgage lending, with primary focus on loans for home purchase, refinance, and reverse mortgages.

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