Merlino & Gonzalez April 2019

April 2019





We’re Not Your Average Mortgage Banker

Just as she’s added a great deal to my life, she’s improved the quality of our mortgage business. It’s amazing to work with somebody who understands you and brings you balance. It’s our mission to provide the smoothest process possible for our clients, and we work together to achieve that. We also provide a level of personal connection that you won’t find at a large bank. Nalua and I have even visited clients in their homes when it wasn’t convenient for them to come see us. That’s a level of connection and service you just won’t find from most mortgage banks. The focus on client experience is something we share with the team at Merlino & Gonzalez. “I met Ken at an industry event through pure coincidence,” Nalua says. “We just happened to have booths near one another. As we began talking, it was clear we could work very well together. Ken, John, and their team are extremely professional and provide only the best for their clients. When a closing needs to come together, you want to collaborate will a law firm who holds up their end of the bargain. Merlino & Gonzalez does that and a whole lot more.” Nalua and I are the type of couple who loves working together. It allows us to operate with a level of harmony that benefits our clients. We’re partners in work and life, and I hope she’d agree that we’re both very lucky to have found each other.

We’ve been practicing real estate law for many years, so we know just how important working with a great mortgage banker is. It’s our job to make sure the legal considerations of your transaction go off without a hitch. A great loan officer does the same for the financial aspects of the real estate process. Michael Gaggi and Nalua Cuenca of First Home Bank in Staten Island definitely fit the bill. We love working with them and more importantly, so do our clients. I want to give this awesome duo a chance to tell you a little bit more about themselves and their work. Take it away, guys. The best way to describe Nalua and me is to say that we’re a team. On the business side, we function as two halves of the same brain. That process is certainly aided by the fact that we’re also partners in life. In fact, when I first met Nalua, I had no idea she had a background working with mortgages. She was working at a restaurant I happened to walk into, and I was smitten from the start. I came to learn that Nalua had many years of experience in the same profession as me. We were already discussing her moving to New York, but that settled the matter once and for all. “I have to be honest,” she says. “Moving to New York was an adjustment. For one, I wasn’t used to having seasons. But no matter how tough the cold was, I knew that being with Michael was more than enough to get me through the transition period. The temperatures may have been different, but I knew from day one that I was home.” I’d like to add that it felt like a new experience taking Nalua to Central Park and Times Square when she first arrived. Since then, it’s been amazing to show her the sights and sounds of the city. As a born and bred New Yorker, it’s given me a chance to see my home town through her eyes. When you live here, it’s easy to take the exceptional for granted. Sharing this place with Nalua has reminded me that most Americans don’t have access to countless incredible events and more great restaurants than you could visit in a lifetime.

To learn more about Michael and Nalua’s bank, head to michael-gaggi. –Michael Gaggi

NMLS #806183

Nalua’s NMLS #1434354 Michael’s NMLS #63106



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