The essence of living is to feel at home

A home is not just a roof over your head. It is a place where you feel at home. This is something very personal. For some, it may be a newly built house, which can be designed fully according to their wishes. For others, it may mean living in the area where they spent their childhood. You choose your home by listening to your heart. That is why it is important to get assistance from a mortgage advisor who can emphatise with your situation.

Writing your own history in a house full of memories

The mass-media campaign, which recently started on 18 May, highlights the ability of a mortgage advisor to emphatise with a client's situation. A client like Felie van Assem, who together with her husband decided to buy her parent's house, a place that is full of memories.

'I grew up here,' says Felie, standing in her parents' house in Schoorl, North Holland. 'The marks made on the door frame to show my height are still there. I sat at this table to do my homework and my mother always used to come and sit with me, with a cup of tea and a biscuit.'

Precious memories

When Felie's mother died, her father did not want to live there anymore. But Felie did not want to let the house go. She wanted to live there herself. She thought it was a wonderful idea to buy a home that was full of precious memories and make history with her family there. Felie: 'It is fantastic that I will share these same memories with my children. And the idea that they might also live here some day. And that when my father visits us, he will be coming home.' Bart likes the idea as well: 'I thought, this is a chance we have to take. I immediately felt good about living in this area, close to the forest and the beach.'

Testing whether it is possible

However, getting a mortgage was quite difficult. Felie and Bart both had temporary employment contracts, there was still a residual debt on their property, and they wished to do some renovations. The most uncertain factor initially was whether Bart's employer would give him a statement of intent, since he had only been working there for a short time. They also had to sell their old house – that was not even up for sale at the time. Felie: 'We really had no idea as to whether it was possible. We went to several mortgage advisers and they all said that we could not do it since we were both on temporary contracts. Until we found Peter Rollé, a financial adviser at Rabobank Alkmaar. He explored further other options that will give us bigger chance to make it. He said: 'Why would this not be possible?' This gave us a huge boost of confidence.'

'I thought, this is a chance we have to take.’

A gift from dad

The first conversation that Peter had was with Felie and her father. Her father had left the parental home for emotional reasons after Felie's mother died. He was quite determined about this and wanted to continue his life somewhere else. Felie was unhappy with this, she wanted to keep the house because of its emotional value. She was born there, and her mother, with whom she had a strong connection, died there.

In the interview with the family, Peter tried to establish the financial situation and the possibilities as clearly as possible. It became clear that Felie's father wanted to give his daughter a gift, which was more than Felie initially, expected. The gift could be used in three parts: one part to cover the loss on the sale of the old house, one part for loans and one part for the purchase of the new house. 'If you follow these steps, it is possible,' Peter concluded. 'I am so happy,' says Felie. 'I never thought that it would be possible, and now it is. That is fantastic! The fact that our children will grow up in the house where I was raised is really special.'

Reflecting dreams

'It's great when you achieve something together that you didn't really expect,' says Peter. His colleague Sonja Stegers-Vos, who closed the mortgage loans, adds: 'The speediness of our service is also important to our clients. In this case, the bills for the planned renovation were already piling up. So we had to handle this quickly.' Peter concludes: 'A customer is often not aware of what his possibilities are and does not know what steps he needs to take to get there. I try to understand the customer's dreams by asking direct questions. I then reflect this to find out what the customer thinks about achieving this dream. What is he prepared to do? What is he perhaps prepared to give up in order achieving his goal? The customer's motivation is the most important thing. If he is really motivated, I am automatically convinced as well.'

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