Diamond Certified Company Report

West-Cal Mortgage

Diamond Certified Company Report

West-Cal Mortgage

Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i
Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 75 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Teri B.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

1 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I yelped them and gave them a great review because I went to four other companies and West-Cal found a way that I could buy a home in my name. I was told by other mortgage brokers that it wouldn't work, even though I had previously owned homes and had a high credit score. West-Cal found a way so I could get the house and it has been wonderful.

They were just so informative. They even came to my signing. I would call and they would explain the whole deal, they walked me through everything. They were never too busy. The two women in the officer were amazing, they went above and beyond.

Heather C.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

2 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Call Dan Eichhorn at West-Cal Mortgage.

He's attentive, responsive, and he works hard on your behalf. He really knows what he's doing and gets it done. We think he's great, we all recommend him to family and friends so we're pretty satisfied.

Sylvia P.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

3 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They make what seems impossible, possible.

He was efficient, fast, and responsive. I had a good experience. In my case, the last refinance was in the midst of a divorce, and it worked out really well.

Read All 75 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Dan Eichhorn, Owner

West-Cal Mortgage provides a variety of mortgage and refinancing services for residential and commercial clients throughout California. In addition to helping people purchase homes and refinance outstanding loans, the company has the in-house capabilities to handle reverse mortgage loans, debt consolidations and other specialized aspects of the mortgage industry.

Owner Dan Eichhorn says West-Cal Mortgage’s detail-oriented business practices have allowed the company to maintain a loyal clientele base. “The mortgage process can be stressful, but our clients are able to relax because they know we’ll take care of everything. By staying on top of systems and checklists, we’re able to achieve the best possible results and ensure there are no surprises.”

West-Cal Mortgage emphasizes communication throughout every step of the mortgage process, which Mr. Eichhorn says is important for ensuring all parties are working toward the same goals. “In this industry, responding to clients and lenders in a timely fashion is crucial for keeping deals moving forward, so we make sure we’re always easily accessible. Whether it’s in person, by cellphone or through email, communicating with our clients is our top priority.”

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON West-Cal Mortgage

Locations

California

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SERVICES PERFORMED

Purchase Mortgage Lending
Home Refinancing
Reverse Mortgage Loans
Debt Consolidation
Construction Loans
Conventional Loans
Jumbo Home Loans
FHA, VA Loans
100% USDA Loans

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON West-Cal Mortgage

Company Profile

West-Cal Mortgage provides a variety of mortgage and refinancing services for residential and commercial clients throughout California. In addition to helping people purchase homes and refinance outstanding loans, the company has the in-house capabilities to handle reverse mortgage loans, debt consolidations and other specialized aspects of the mortgage industry.

Owner Dan Eichhorn says West-Cal Mortgage’s detail-oriented business practices have allowed the company to maintain a loyal clientele base. “The mortgage process can be stressful, but our clients are able to relax because they know we’ll take care of everything. By staying on top of systems and checklists, we’re able to achieve the best possible results and ensure there are no surprises.”

West-Cal Mortgage emphasizes communication throughout every step of the mortgage process, which Mr. Eichhorn says is important for ensuring all parties are working toward the same goals. “In this industry, responding to clients and lenders in a timely fashion is crucial for keeping deals moving forward, so we make sure we’re always easily accessible. Whether it’s in person, by cellphone or through email, communicating with our clients is our top priority.”

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Company Philosophy

"Customer service is very important to us, so we focus on providing excellent, competitively priced services that make our clients feel comfortable and confident. Our goal is to develop a long-lasting relationship with every client, and we accomplish that by paying attention to details and putting their needs first."

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Comparative Summary

Mortgage brokers are always looking for ways to distinguish themselves from their competition, and those that have earned the prestigious Diamond Certified award are already several steps ahead. In addition to its Diamond Certified status, West-Cal Mortgage sets itself apart by providing its clients with products and customer service that help minimize their stress throughout the mortgage process. “We enjoy putting people into new homes and helping them navigate that process,” says owner Dan Eichhorn. “By using a strategy of organization and personal communication, we’re able to prevent surprises and ensure everything goes smoothly.”

West-Cal Mortgage has been providing mortgage and refinancing services for residential and commercial clients throughout California since 1990. In addition to helping people buy homes and refinance their outstanding loans, the company is qualified to handle specialized aspects of the industry like reverse mortgage loans and debt consolidations.

Unlike large banks that take an “assembly line” approach to mortgage lending and undervalue the importance of communicating with their clients as a result, West-Cal Mortgage makes sure it’s accessible to its clients whenever they have questions or concerns. “Responding to clients and lenders keeps deals moving forward in a timely fashion, so accessibility is very important to us,” affirms Mr. Eichhorn. “We reliably answer the phone during business hours, promptly return calls and emails, and give our personal cellphone numbers to our clients so they can contact us at any time.”

Another distinguishing attribute of West-Cal Mortgage is its ability to work autonomously and honestly, which Mr. Eichhorn says allows the company to stay competitive and take better care of its clients. “Larger mortgage firms have layers of bureaucracy and management, but our company is small and lean, so we have the autonomy to work toward our clients’ best interests. For example, we can save them money by not sending our brokers on expensive sales trips and making sure they honestly report their earnings. Also, some companies add extra fees to their loans, but we’re committed to providing our clients with competitive rates that help them achieve their goals.”

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Industry Info

If you have a mortgage loan, make sure you know how to handle the extra restrictions that were implemented after the 2008 market crash. “Originating loans isn’t for the faint of heart,” says Dan Eichhorn, owner of West-Cal Mortgage in Sebastopol. “The process has become very complex and tedious, with lenders requiring many things they never required prior to the mortgage and housing meltdown of 2008.”

This can include larger down payments, the purchase of mortgage insurance, closer scrutiny of buyers’ debt-to-income ratios, higher average credit scores, and a full reporting of employment history and income. For home buyers (especially first-timers or those who haven’t purchased a home since these new restrictions went into effect), all of this paperwork can seem daunting.

Mr. Eichhorn says negotiating the new terms takes patience on the parts of mortgage brokers, lenders and home buyers alike. “Some of these new procedures and documentation requirements are smart lending practices, while others make no sense at all. One good practice is that borrowers must now fully document their income, which helps ensure timely repayment of the mortgage. On the flip side, documentation can sometimes go too far, with lenders asking for so many detailed documents that it can be a burden for borrowers to produce the paperwork.”

Why all the required documentation? “Lenders are afraid of having to buy back mortgages they originated, so they’re over-conditioning almost every loan,” explains Mr. Eichhorn. “I’m hoping the industry will soon come back to a more reasonable underwriting standard and still ensure quality loans are being originated.”

So, how can you handle and potentially avoid the frustrations posed by loans with too many conditions? “The best way to deal with the documentation of your loan file is to gather 100 percent of the documentation on your mortgage broker’s checklist at the beginning of the loan process,” advises Mr. Eichhorn. “Also, don’t be surprised if they ask for more.”

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who will help me with my loan?

A: If you’re shopping for a home loan, you’ll be able to discuss that directly with our owner, Dan Eichhorn. With other firms, you can get shuffled among several agents, but with us, you’ll be dealing with a professional who has more than 30 years of experience getting people the mortgages they need.

Q: What’s the process and criteria for qualifying for a loan?

A: It depends on your situation, so we recommend calling us so we can have a conversation about your needs and the solutions we can offer. We’ll walk you through the process, answer your questions and determine which loans you qualify for.

Q: What should I know before calling you?

A: If you’re looking to purchase a home, you should know your price point. This can be your overall budget, how much down payment you’ll have to work with or your monthly mortgage expense budget. It’s also helpful to know your target monthly expenses and the new home price. If we know that information, we can help you figure out loan amounts and work through your credit qualifications. We’ll lay out what your house payment will look like, the closing costs involved, the monthly mortgage payment and other details.

Q: Do most of your clients qualify for loans?

A: Yes. We also have ways of finding other resources for clients who don’t qualify for certain loans.

Q: How can you keep your mortgage rates so low?

A: We don’t send our brokers on expensive sales trips, and we honestly report their earnings. We also don’t tack on fees to the lender, which can add up to more than $1,000 for some companies. These firms will add extra fees to make more money on their deals, but we’re committed to providing competitive rates that don’t take advantage of our clients.

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SELECTED PHOTOS FROM West-Cal Mortgage

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Dan Eichhorn

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE
  • Dan Eichhorn is a 32-year veteran of the mortgage industry and owner of West-Cal Mortgage, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (707) 879-8928 or by email.

Dan Eichhorn: An Unlikely Connection

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SEBASTOPOL — Dan Eichhorn may have studied finance in college, but it was through a side job that he established a connection to his future profession. “While attending CSU Chico, I supported myself by working on a boat that belonged to one of the Lake Tahoe casinos,” he explains. “During that time, I became acquainted with a regular who happened to own a mortgage company. I told him I was going to work for him after I graduated, and that’s exactly what happened.” After getting his foot in the door, Dan spent the next several years gaining valuable industry experience before founding his own mortgage firm in 1990.

Today, as owner of West-Cal Mortgage, Dan says his favorite part of his job is facilitating life-changing transitions for his clients. “I really enjoy helping a first-time buyer get their first house. As a mortgage broker, I get many different kinds of clients, but there’s something about working with first-time buyers that’s especially satisfying. It’s probably because it’s a big deal for them—a real life-changer.”

A resident of Sonoma County (where he lives with his wife, Julie Leveque, and their children), Dan likes to spend his time outside of work getting his hands dirty. “We have a five-acre farm, where I enjoy working and growing my own food,” he says. “I also like working on my ’53 Dodge Power Wagon, which I’m in the process of restoring. Additionally, I’m an avid cyclist—I actually used to race bicycles when I was in college.”

In his life and career, Dan espouses the importance of maintaining a balanced lifestyle. “As a business owner, a husband and a father, it’s always a challenge to balance work and family,” he says. “In my line of work, it’s easy to become a workaholic, but when you’re raising kids, sometimes you have to know when to shut off the ‘dumb phone.’ At the end of the day, I think maintaining that balance makes you a better partner, parent and businessperson. Otherwise, you just get burnt out.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Dan says he’d get his auto restoration project ready for the road. “I’d finish restoring my Power Wagon and drive it to Alaska. It’ll basically be a new truck when I’m done with it, with a new engine and transmission, so it should have no trouble handling a big road trip like that.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Nepal—I’d love to do some trekking through the Himalayas.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: My home.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Read a book.

Q: What kinds of books do you like?
A: Usually historical books like presidential biographies and World War II accounts.

Q: What types of music do you like?
A: Mostly classics from the ’70s and ’80s.

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Expert articles
  • Documentation for a Mortgage Loan

    SEBASTOPOL — Today’s mortgage lenders are more rigorous than ever about vetting borrowers, which is why they require a considerable amount of documentation. To keep the loan process rolling along smoothly, be sure to provide everything that’s requested. Here are some common things you’ll need to supply:

    • W-2 forms from the past two years

    • Paycheck stubs from the past 30 days

    • Most recent federal tax return (possibly the previous year’s as well)

    • Complete list of assets, including bank statements, brokerage statements, investment records, and real estate and automobile titles

    • Complete list of debts, including credit cards, student loans, auto loans and child support payments, along with minimum monthly payments and balances

    • Profit and loss statements or 1099 forms (if you own a business)

    Read moreRead less
  • A Common Mistake for Home Appraisal

    SEBASTOPOL – When selling or refinancing a home, an important part of the process is having it professionally appraised. However, some homeowners fail to realize that in addition to assessing a home’s value, an appraiser checks to make sure everything is up to safety code standards. If any aspect of the home is not up to code, the appraiser will notify the homeowner, at which point the homeowner must rectify the issue and schedule another appointment with the appraiser, which results in wasted time and money.

    Two things homeowners commonly overlook in this regard are water heaters and smoke/carbon monoxide alarms. To avoid hazards like gas leaks, water damage and injury, California earthquake safety code requires all water heaters to be secured with two metal straps. So, if your water heater lacks proper bracing, you’ll need to address this before your home appraisal. Also, verify that the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms throughout your home are installed correctly and function properly. By taking the time to address these crucial safety code requirements, you’ll have a safer home and avoid paying for a second home appraisal appointment.

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Expert video tip
  • Video: Home Loan Documentation Tip

    Complete Video Transcription:

    SEBASTOPOL — Host, Sarah Rutan: When it comes to applying for a home loan, don’t overlook the importance of complete documentation. Today we’re in Sebastopol with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Dan Eichhorn of West-Cal Mortgage to learn more.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Dan Eichhorn: It is really important to document files very clearly. After the Frank Dodd Act was passed, lenders required much more documentation on files. So, make sure you look very, very carefully at your lender’s checklist up front. And get 100% of those items, or close to 100% of those items right at the beginning of the process. All bank statements for two months, with all documentation of deposits verified, W2s for the past two years, pay stubs. Just, you know, again, really look carefully at the checklist that they will provide for you and follow that checklist. It’ll make the loan process much more easy for you to get your home loan closed on time. Thank you.

    Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local, top rated companies, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org.

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  • Video: Home Loan Documentation Tip

    Complete Video Transcription:

    SEBASTOPOL — Host, Sarah Rutan: When it comes to applying for a home loan, don’t overlook the importance of complete documentation. Today we’re in Sebastopol with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Dan Eichhorn of West-Cal Mortgage to learn more.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Dan Eichhorn: It is really important to document files very clearly. After the Frank Dodd Act was passed, lenders required much more documentation on files. So, make sure you look very, very carefully at your lender’s checklist up front. And get 100% of those items, or close to 100% of those items right at the beginning of the process. All bank statements for two months, with all documentation of deposits verified, W2s for the past two years, pay stubs. Just, you know, again, really look carefully at the checklist that they will provide for you and follow that checklist. It’ll make the loan process much more easy for you to get your home loan closed on time. Thank you.

    Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local, top rated companies, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org.

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West-Cal Mortgage WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
  • West-Cal Mortgage SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS
COMPANY WEBSITE
www.westcalmtg.com
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON West-Cal Mortgage
Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i

Each surveyed customer was asked, “If you needed any helpful expertise, did this company provide that expertise?” To calculate this score, total “Yes” responses were divided by total responses (excluding those that stated they hadn’t needed any expertise).

Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 75 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
West-Cal Mortgage : Average 9.2 out of 10 based on 75 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Teri B.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

1 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I yelped them and gave them a great review because I went to four other companies and West-Cal found a way that I could buy a home in my name. I was told by other mortgage brokers that it wouldn't work, even though I had previously owned homes and had a high credit score. West-Cal found a way so I could get the house and it has been wonderful.

They were just so informative. They even came to my signing. I would call and they would explain the whole deal, they walked me through everything. They were never too busy. The two women in the officer were amazing, they went above and beyond.

Heather C.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

2 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Call Dan Eichhorn at West-Cal Mortgage.

He's attentive, responsive, and he works hard on your behalf. He really knows what he's doing and gets it done. We think he's great, we all recommend him to family and friends so we're pretty satisfied.

Sylvia P.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

3 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They make what seems impossible, possible.

He was efficient, fast, and responsive. I had a good experience. In my case, the last refinance was in the midst of a divorce, and it worked out really well.

Peter E.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

4 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They went above and beyond what was required of them in order for us to get our loan.

The extra effort and time that they put into assisting us in getting our loan.

Kathleen M.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

5 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would say to definitely use them.

The owner, Dan Eichhorn, is a good person to do that complicated job. He does it all.

John M.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

6 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They did a good job and they were competent.

I liked the fact Dan was very personable. He seemed to understand what he was talking about.

Caryn N.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

7 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I've been recommending them for several years.

The effort, Dan makes great effort and he has helped a lot of people that have had challenges getting a good mortgage. He does a great job and he is a very good guy.

Shane M.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

8 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are really easy to work with.

They are really easy to work with. We were very satisfied.

Lynne V.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

9 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would let a friend know I didn't have any problems.

Everything was easy.

Craig H.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

10 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

If you work with West-Cal Mortgage, you'll get a really knowledgeable broker with a wealth of expertise. You get the best rate, and West-Cal Mortgage can really help with tricky situations. We had a situation with an in-law, and additional family members, which was complicated, but they gave us great advice.

I liked his integrity.

Al F.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

11 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Use them.

They were friendly and pretty efficient.

Holly G.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

12 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Dan provides good service.

He always got back to me quickly after I called him.

Shawn W.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

13 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

It was great.

They closed my loan.

Brian W.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

14 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I have actually steered several friends to them over the years, they have had similar experiences. They are great and knowledgeable. They know how to make it happen and they do make it happen. When it comes to getting a loan you want someone who knows what they are doing.

I have gotten four different mortgages from them over the past 10 to 12 years. They are awesome. What they say they are going to do, they make it happen. Patti was my loan officer and she went above and beyond every time. Patti was always there, she answered the phone and made it simple. She was patient and she explained everything. Mortgage companies are hard to deal with. She handled all the paperwork, did everything, and made it all happen. I would use them again, and will the next time I refinance in about a year. I have never had a bad experience. I have gotten four loans, my girlfriend has gotten two loans, and two other friends got loans because I recommended them. They all had the same positive experience.

Larry D.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

15 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

That it is a good local spot to go

The new office building seemed very bright and open. The last one was almost in an alley. I was pleased with the service we got.

Timothy V.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

16 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would tell a friend to use them, but it's not exactly in my area. I'm in Marin County so it's not close to my home. My friends should use them, but they might opt for someone closer to home.

They were very friendly, they bent over backwards to make me feel like family, and they were just wonderful.

James M.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

17 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would tell anyone that is looking for a loan to go there, they will get the best deal.

They didn't make any mistakes. I am used to big banks making mistakes and I've worked with West-Cal twice now and both times, there were no problems. I completely trust them.

Zachary P.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

18 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Dan helped me think through a lot of different options.

I would say that he is upfront about the cost both short and long term, it helped me decide. I was very happy.

Richard I.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

19 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would refer them.

Their timeliness, experience, knowledge, and helpfulness, they've always come through. They're great people and I've been happy over the years.

Stephen C.

VERIFIED West-Cal Mortgage CUSTOMER

20 of 75

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are fair and trustworthy.

I liked that they made it feel personal.

Read All 75 Survey Responses at Ratings View