Serving the community since 1970

Sherry Knapp – a local lender with experience

Sherry Knapp of California Home Loans is a mortgage lender who has been in business since 1998. Specializing in serving first-time home buyers and financing single-family housing, she has garnered a reputation for outstanding customer service and her personal touch.

Born and raised in Wasco, she is proud to have started her own business in her hometown. "I love working in the community that raised me and helping them realize their American dream of owning a home."

Knapp has been doing loans since 1988. When she launched her business in 1998, she teamed up with Jenny and Tilo Cortez of California Home Pros, the Wasco real estate agency, and opened an office together.

"As a team, we can provide an overall experience. We can cover everything from A to Z and work together seamlessly to make it the best process for our buyers."

She said if you are considering buying a home, the first step is getting pre-qualified, which is why her role is so important. "You want to know before you start looking. You want to know your price range, especially if you fall in love with a house and it's not within your budget.

"It's best to get pre-approved to see what programs you can qualify for. The whole process can be intimidating for clients, but my job is to make you feel comfortable and guide you through the process of getting pre-qualified, and if not, guide you so you can get qualified in the future.

"The next step is getting a real estate agent, but knowing what you qualify for gives you the confidence to go out and look for homes in that price range for which you know you are qualified."

She talked about the important traits for a real estate agent. "A good agent makes sure you get a good, solid home you're going to be able to bring your family to. As a lender, I make sure that you have solid financing and that the loan you get works for your family budget.

"With me working closely with Jenny and Tilo Cortez as a team, we strive to accomplish these goals. As Wasco natives, we have a unique perspective. We know the community better than anyone else, so we can better serve our community."

As she specializes in first-time home buyers, she is knowledgeable about programs to assist them in purchasing. "Some of these programs include the CALHFA [California Housing Finance Agency] and the Rural USDA program. These benefits are that they help you get into your home with the least amount of money out of pocket. It covers the down payment and part of your closing costs.

"We also do the VA loan for veterans, so if you've served in the military, you can access 100% financing."

Knapp sees a number of benefits to working with her as opposed to a larger corporation. "I'm able to personalize their financing and keep the cost to do the loan down, and that means better fees and better rates for clients because I don't have the big overhead."

She plans to work in the community for many more years. "There is something special about working for the people that you work and live around. We're not strangers; we're family."

California Home Loans, 1136 7th St., can be contacted at 661-758-3003.


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