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Mortgages and Other Essentials

First the mortgage…

When you buy a house, your first priority is your financing. First you’ll need to find out how much house you can afford. This mortgage calculator can help you figure out your monthly payments.

You’ll need to find a lender, an attorney, and a house inspector at the very least.

You are of course welcome to use the professionals you wish. But I highly suggest you choose professionals who are experienced in the local real estate market you are looking in and who have a proven reputation. I’ve seen it happen way too many times that poor legal representation or a fly-by-night lender will cost my clients extra money and sometimes are so ineffectual that the transaction falls through and the deal is lost.

When shopping for a mortgage, use a reputable company and compare closing costs and fees as they can vary considerably. For example, some mortgage companies advertise rates that are available only to a small percentage of extremely qualified buyers.

When you choose an attorney, be sure the person works regularly in real estate and ideally in the particular market where you are buying and selling a house. Real estate is an intensely local field, and if you chose an attorney who is based out of town, you will likely find yourself at a disadvantage.

When you choose a home inspector, don’t skimp. These are the people who comb over your prospective house from top to bottom to check out your plumbing and heating systems, as well as structural integrity, checking for cracks in the foundation in addition to termites. You want to know up front if there’s a chance that your boiler needs replacing in the next year. You need to know these possibilities from the beginning.

For your convenience, I’ve compiled a list of highly reputable people I have successfully worked with on a regular basis. These are expert professionals whom I’ve found to be reliable and trustworthy. I get no kickback or benefit from providing you with their names. I do this as a service to you, but also because I know they will get the job done.

Mortgage Consultants and Brokers

  • Shane Force, Atlantic Home Loans, 973-219-4195
  • Daryle Pellegrino, MLB Residential Lending, 201-679-6200
  • Vicki Wu, Van Dyke Mortgage, 973-865-5067


  • Melanie Factor, Montclair 973-744-5594
  • Lori Golia, Montclair 973-744-2100
  • Jeff Dollinger, Livingston 973-992-1700
  • Andy Weinstein, Verona 973-415-8600
  • Jeff Chatfield, Parsippany-Troy Hills 973-713-4848
  • James Ashenfelter, Montclair 973-744-2100

Home Inspectors

  • Neal Wilson, Acorn Home Inspections  973-598-5827
  • Vincent Gorgone, Viewmaster   201-460-0027
  • David Grossman, Premium Home Inspection   732-388-1076
  • Bill Root, Roots Home Inspection 908-769-0028


  • Casella & Sons, 973-227-3552
  • Maypan Moving & Trucking, 973-227-1398 
  • Harrington Moving and Storage, 973-313-2246
  • Reilly Moving & Storage, 973-746-9317

Other Contractors

I have a network of painters, appraisers, plumbers, roofers, carpenters, floor refinishers, stagers, asbestos removers, oil tank inspectors, and landscapers I am happy to share with you. Email me with your request and I’ll send you my list.