First Time Home Buyer Consultation

We have been providing First Time Home Buyer and Down Payment Assistance for nearly 15 years.  Gardnier is the premier provider of FTHB services in San Diego and Riverside Counties.  First Time Home Buyer & Down Payment Assistance Programs can provide up to 70,000 (in some cases more) in Down Payment Assistance and lower your payments by as much as $700 per month.   We service both San Diego and Riverside County.  Contrary to what you have been told, these programs are available in every city. However the process of qualifying buyers for these programs is extremely time intensive.  On average we spend approximately 11 to 14 hours in the consultation and pre-approval process.  This is because unlike 1st mortgages which are the same for every area, FTHB and DPA programs are different for each city and county.   If you are just looking for general information on how the programs work, you may find this info for free at .  If you are looking for help finding programs and getting qualified, then you have come to the right place.

Will will provide up to 30 minutes of free phone consultation.  Before calling please watch the first 2 videos located at  You must watch THE FIRST 2 VIDEOS.  Then send an email to and request a free 15 to 30 minute consultation.  In that email you must provide 3 dates/times when you and any co-borrowers will be together in one place, able to receive a phone call and able to access a computer (not a tablet or phone) which has access to the internet.  As you continue to read below, you will see what the charges are after the free phone consultation.  It is in your best interests to have watched the videos and have all borrowers  available for the phone consultation.  In this way you can get most of your answers and not have a charge for it.

The information below was copied directly from the contracts that we use and clearly states the costs and when they are due.

Don’t wait until the last moment to start your consultation.  It takes 3 people to say you are ready to buy a home.  (1)  You.  (2)  The Underwriter for your primary mortgage and (3) the underwriter or compliance officer for the programs you wish to use.  The problem is that most people wait until they are ready to move forward, then they start the process of getting qualified.  This usually happens when they find a house they really want, and then they apply.  Unfortunately, the qualification process is usually not a quick thing and if you wait until you find the house of your dreams, you will probably lose it while getting pre-approved.  To get approved it will take

  • If you have Great Credit and guaranteed 40 hours a week with no OT:  A minimum of 3-5 business days
  • If you have Great Credit with pay that varies in some way:  A minimum of 7-10 business days
  • If you have Questionable Credit:  Up to 3 Months.
  • Credit issues that need to be worked through:  Up to a year or more.

Please read the agreement below carefully then if you are ready to move forward, sign and return it.


1.  Initial Consultation.

1.1  A nonrefundable fee of 99.95 covers the cost of the initial consultation for you and your spouse/partner (to a maximum of 90 minutes) and Payment must be received 3 days prior to your scheduled consultation. If you have a spouse/partner that cannot be present at the initial consultation with you, then they will be required to have their own consultation and an additional 99.95 fee must be received 3 days prior to their consultation.


1.2  Rescheduling And Cancelations:  You may reschedule up to 2 times as long as the request is received at least 72 hours prior to your appointment.  Failure to provide a 72 hour notice to reschedule will result in the forfeiture of the initial consultation fee.  You may cancel and receive a full refund if you provide a 72 hour notice to cancel prior to your FIRST scheduled appointment. Simply put, be courteous with our time and we will work with you.


1.3  Information We Will Need For The Appointment:  You and if applicable your spouse/partner agree to provide the following information by the time of your initial consultation.  The information needed is but is not limited to

  • Estimated Credit Score,
  • Income,
  • Debts,
  • Have you owned a home in the last three years,
  • Date of any bankruptcies, short sales, foreclosures, or Deed in Lieu of foreclosures.
  • Other information communicated to you based on your personal situation.

By setting the appointment you agree that you will have gathered the information we have asked for prior to the appointment.  If you cannot have the information requested, please see the rescheduling rules in section 1.2 above.  Failure to have the information by the appointment will require the initial consultation be rescheduled with a reschedule fee of 50.00.  Simply put, be courteous with our time and we will work with you.


1.4  Location Of The Initial Consultation:  The initial consultation will be by phone.  During the consultation you and if applicable your spouse/partner will need to have access to a computer which has access to the internet (a smart phone/tablet will NOT work).  Failure to have access to a full PC and the internet will require a rescheduling of the consultation with a $50 reschedule fee.  Alternately, for an additional fee of $250.00 (San Diego County) or $450 (Riverside County), arrangements can be made to have the initial consultation at your home.  In this case you must be able to provide internet access through Wi-Fi or there must be 4G services for Verizon cell phones so we can use our systems to access the internet.


1.5  What If It Seems That I Don’t Qualify:  If after the initial consultation we determine you are not likely to be eligible for any of the programs you selected you will be advised not to move forward.  You will be provided with an action plan that if followed may lead to your qualifying when completed.


1.6  What If It Seems As If I Will Qualify:  In these cases we will recommend a Full Analysis.



2.  Full Analysis: 


2.1  A fee of 379.95 covers the cost of the “Full Analysis”, is due at the time you provide your documents and is refundable only in the case where we are not able to provide you with a pre-approval for at least one of the programs you indicated you were interested in.  The pre-approval will be from a lender who specializes in FTHB DPA programs. You agree to pay the fee and have all required docs submitted to us within 14 days of the initial consultation described in section 1.1.  If more than 14 days will have passed since your initial consultation and the time we receive the Full Analysis fee and docs, a $50.00 review fee will be payable and covers the cost of re-familiarizing ourselves with the details of the file.  The documents that will be needed are (but are not limited to)

  1. Consent to pull credit report (we will provide),
  2. 3 years Federal tax returns with W-2s and all schedules (Please don’t include the state returns),
  3. 2 months bank statements (All Accounts and All Pages),
  4. 3 months’ pay stubs for any “Wage” type earner,
  5. Copy of Drivers License and copy of Social Security card.
  6. Last Social Security Award Letter______
  7. _____________________________
  8. Other documents as needed depending on your personal circumstances.

Again you can see the theme here is be courteous with our time and we will work with you.


2.2  How Do I Get The Documents To You:  Deliver the documents to us in PDF form.  You can

  • Fax to 877-696-7373,
  • Email to ,
  • Meet us in Ramona Ca, or
  • Mail a CD with the docs on it to 25169 Poderio Dr.  Ramona, Ca 92065.

Please make sure each category is separate.  Example, for each person please provide

  • 1 PDF with the signed authorization to pull credit.
  • 1 PDF for your last year’s tax returns and W2s,
  • 1 PDF for the year prior to that,
  • 1PDF for the year prior to that,
  • 1 PDF for your combined 2 months bank statements
  • 1 PDF for your last 3 month’s pay stubs.
  • 1 PDF with a copy of your Drivers License and Social Security card.
  • 1 PDF with this contract signed on last page and initialed on each page
  • This will usually be a total of 8 PDFs for each person.  Please name your PDFs.  Example.  John Smith Credit Auth, John Smith Tax 2007, John Smith Tax 2006, John Smith Tax 2005, John Smith Bank Stmt, John Smith Pay, John Smith Driver Lic & SS Card.  If you do not file your taxes or have your accounts jointly then scan the separately and you will have more than 8 PDFs.

If you are insistent that you want us to scan the documents for you, mail COPIES (each category separated with a paper click – no staples) and our TC can do this for a fee of 85.00.  We do NOT accept any originals under any circumstances and will not return the copies (They will be shredded).


2.3  How Long Does It Take:  The time frame for the approval is normally 10 business days from the date we receive all requested documents.  You will chose up to 3 initial cities that you are interested in (you may limit yourself to one if you choose).  We will work with lenders to get you approved for a home loan and at least 1 of the First Time Home Buyer Programs for the cities that you indicated a preference.   Once we have provided you with the pre-approval, our service will be complete.


2.4  What if after the full consultation I change my mind and want to be reviewed for additional FTHB & DPA programs in other cities?  We can review your qualifications and attempt to get you qualified for other cities even after the consultation has been completed.  There is no cost for this service for the first 6 months (From the date you initially signed the invoice, to a maximum of 5 Programs.  Once you have been reviewed for 5 programs or 6 months has passed since your invoice was signed (whichever come sooner) then the cost of the subsequent reviews is 49.95 per city.


2.5  Does the consultation/pre-approval include writing my real estate contracts or helping my real estate agent write the contracts in a way that includes the FTHB/DPA programs?  No, you are responsible for hiring an agent that is proficient in the First Time Home Buyer Program real estate side of things

2.6  What If You Can’t Get Me Approved:  If we are unable to get you qualified for at least one of the programs you initially indicated you were interested in, then you will be refunded the amount actually paid for the “Full Analysis”.  It is agreed that this is the extent of our responsibility and liability.


2.7  How Long Is The Qualification Good For:  All loan qualifications are based upon a snap shot in time.  Things in your life will change and the programs are changing all the time to.  The approval shows that at the time you got it your personal finances and the programs you were looking at worked together.  Because neither you nor I can control everything that happens to you or the changes that happen with a particular program, you are advised to move quickly to purchase a home.


2.8  What If A First Time Home Buyer Or Down payment Assistance Program That You initially indicated we were approved for Is Subsequently Denied either prior to or during the escrow process:  If you are declined due to a mistake by the lender WE used in approving you for a pre-approval, or a mistake made by us (not a pre-approvals obtained where we were not the most recent Procuring Cause), nor a change in your circumstances or the programs guidelines, we will refund the amount that you actually paid for the Full Analysis (not other fees).  It must have been our mistake and not a mistake we made based on faulty information you provided.  It is agreed that this is the extent of our liability.


3.  What is our relationship: 


3.1  You are hiring us to try to get you approved for First Time Home Buyer Programs.  This is not an agency relationship between a buy and real estate agent.  We are not offering nor performing real estate agent duties as part of this agreement.


4.  Do I have To Use The Lender You Recommend:


4.1  No.  However using a lender other than the one we recommend will void the warranty discussed in section 2.6 and 2.8.


5.  Can I Use Someone Else As My Real Estate Agent:


5.1  Yes.  It is expressly understood that the terms of this contract are for a First Time Home Buyer Consultation.  We agree to work for you towards this goal and you agree to pay us for the work we do as described in this contract.  Once you have paid for the services your obligation to us is complete.


5.2  What If I chose another agent and then my agent, myself or any other person on my team needs help?  This is not unusual in complicated First Time Home Buyer and Down Payment Assistance Transactions.  We can provide additional “Transaction Consultations” at our normal hourly billing rate of 199.95 per hour.  Transaction Consultations are available to clients who went through the consultation process with us but used a different agent and also to clients who we did not consult with prior to entering escrow.  Transaction Consultations are used when you are having  problems that cannot be resolved through normal procedures.  There is a 1 hour minimum for each call so you are encouraged to gather up all your questions and present them at one time.  You acknowledge that there is no guarantee that I can fix the issues.  You agree to be on the phone at the same time as your agent or service provider.  Unless agreed ahead of time payment is due immediately following the consultation.  If you prefer (and schedules permit), the consultation can be held in another place within San Diego County for an additional $250 trip charge or in Riverside county for a $450 Trip Charge.


5.2  What If My First Time Home Buyer or Down Payment Assistance Program Is Declined Due To A Mistake Made By My Agent ?  In this case you will need to contact your agent to ascertain the level of culpability and appropriate compensation for your particular scenario.  You agree to hold us harmless for mistakes made by another agent.


6.  Can I Use You As My Real Estate Agent:  Yes. 


6.1  What If I Use You As My Agent:  Once the Full Analysis is done and you are ready to go you may choose me as your agent if you would like.  It is expected that an agent is proficient in the area he specializes so there will be no further First Time Home Buyer or Down Payment Assistance Consultation Fees charged for my help as you move towards homeownership.


6.2  No Guarantee Of Representation:  By signing this document we are not agreeing that we will represent you as your real estate agent.  If you would like us to represent you as your agent you may inquire about this after the consultation is done.  We will consider all requests and if we are available and baring any other issues we may consider to represent you for your real estate transaction.


7.  Sharing Your Information


7.1 Sharing information.  While in the FTHB Consultation Phase.  You agree that it is needed for us to share information with lenders and other service providers and for them to share information with us for the purposes of qualifying you for Loans, First Time Home Buyer Programs, Down Payment Assistance Programs and other real estate related and credit elated activities.  You give permission to any company working with us towards these goals to share information in the furtherance of these goals


7.2  Payment For Services & Consent To Share Information For Purposes Of Payment.   IMPORTANT:  In  some circumstances we agree to provide consultation services in advance with the expectation that you will send us a check to cover the agreed upon fees.  In these cases we will have you initial an invoice either with pen or by Docusign that you agree to pay the fee.  If we have not received payment prior to close of any escrow that any signatory of this contract is in, then escrow is Irrevocably instructed to pay outstanding balances out of the transaction funds.  By signing this contract you irrevocably direct lenders and other service providers to inform us of the name of the escrow company for which you are a party to a purchase transaction whether or not we are the agent representing you.  You irrevocably direct the lender or service provider that such notification will be made within 24 hours of your entering escrow or receiving this notice whichever comes later.  You irrevocably direct that the lender, escrow or service providers will provide updates at our request as to the status of the transaction (Open with an expected close date of “x”, Closed on “x” date, or Failed on “x” date).   You furthermore irrevocably direct escrow with no further instructions from you, that at close of escrow, escrow is to pay each item on the invoice section of this contract or a separate invoice that WE submit to escrow which bears your or any of the contracts signatory’s initials for such charge (whether they are a party to the escrow or not) and in which we have not initialed that invoice that we have received payment. You agree to hold the lenders, escrow and service providers harmless for following these instructions.  Payment shall be made to Gardnier Inc or Don Gardnier as directed by Don Gardnier at the time.  Payment shall be mailed to 25169 Poderio Drive.  Ramona, Ca 92065.


7.3  We do not sell or give away clients information.  We agree only to share your information excepted for the purposes listed above.


8.  Liquidated Damages:


8.1  It is agreed that the full extent of our liability for any actions that may arise out of this agreement is the full refund of the sum total of all monies actually paid for the purposes of this First Time Home Buyer and or Down Payment Assistance Consultation but in no case shall be more than 500 dollars.




9.1 Time is of the essence. All understandings between the parties are incorporated in this agreement. If this agreement was changed after it was sent for signatures and those changes wer not ratified by us, then the original agreement as originally sent will prevail.  This will be determined by the initial email or Docusign.  The terms of this agreement are intended by the parties as a final, complete and exclusive expression of their Agreement with respect to its subject matter, and may not be contradicted by evidence of any prior agreement or contemporaneous oral agreement. If any provision of this Agreement is held to be ineffective or invalid, the remaining provisions will nevertheless be given full force and effect. Except as otherwise specified, this Agreement shall be interpreted and disputes shall be resolved in accordance with the laws of the State of California. Neither this Agreement nor any provision in it may be extended, amended, modified, altered or changed, except in writing Signed by all parties to the agreement


10.  Non-Disparagement.


During the Term of this contract and thereafter, you agree to take no action which is intended, or would reasonably be expected, to harm  Gardnier Inc, Gardnier, Don Gardnier, any of our partners, companies, businesses, employees or service providers or its or their reputation or which would reasonably be expected to lead to unwanted or unfavorable publicity to the Company.  You agree that in case of dispute you will work with us to correct the misunderstanding and if that does not work you will use the legal options available to you and not use the media or social media or other avenues to cause damage to our reputation.  You acknowledge that there is a monetary value to a person and a company’s reputation and that by causing damage to that reputation you may be held responsible for those monetary damages.


11.  Arbitration Of Disputes


11.1  All parties agree that any dispute or claim in Law or equity arising between them out of this Agreement or any resulting transaction, which is not settled through mediation, shall be decided by Small Claims Court or by  neutral, binding arbitration. The arbitrator shall be a retired judge or justice, or an attorney with at least 5 years of residential real estate Law experience, unless the parties mutually agree to a different arbitrator. The parties shall have the right to discovery in accordance with Code of Civil Procedure §1283.05.  In all other respects, the arbitration shall be conducted in accordance with Title 9 of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Judgment upon the award of the arbitrator(s) may be entered into any court having jurisdiction. Enforcement

of this agreement to arbitrate shall be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act.




___________________                      __________    __________    __________    __________

Gardnier Representative                      Client 1                        Client 2                        Client 3                        Client 4



12.  Attorney Fees:


12.1  In any action, proceeding, or arbitration between you and I arising out of this Agreement, the prevailing side Shall be entitled to reasonable attorney fees and costs from the non-prevailing side, except as provided in paragraph 8.1.


13 The Invoice.


13.1  You will always know the amount of any fee to be charged for any service.  We will provide you with an invoice which lists the service you requested and also the fee for that service.  Your initial next to that fee will indicate that you agree to pay for the service.  Payment is due as described in this contract unless an alternate agreement is made.  If an alternate agreement is made, it will be reflected on the invoice.  The invoice will be the controlling document and notwithstanding this agreement the amounts you agree to on the invoice are the amounts owed.  Please look carefully at the invoice and insure that if we have agreed to something differently than in this agreement, it is correctly reflected on the invoice.


13.2  The invoice will be used to add additional services that you might request.  You will never owe money for additional services unless you initial next to the fee for that service and by doing so acknowledge acceptance of the new service.


13.3  We will acknowledge receipt of you payments by indicating the amount received and initialing the invoice item.  The invoice will be emailed to you at your email address that you provided.


13.4  If you wish to be removed from this contract and not responsible for any further charges that other parties may make, you may do so by sending an email to and informing us that you would like to be removed.  You will not be responsible for any future charges that are incurred by the remaining parties.  You still will be responsible for the charges you incurred before you separated from the agreement.  We will still have the right to send the invoice containing charges prior to your separation from the agreement to any escrow in which you may be in.


14.  Electronic Signatures


14.1  You agree that by signing documents through Docusign  your electronic signature shall be construed as having the full force of law as if it was your original wet signature.


Click here for the Contracts which include the type of documentation that will be required.

Please call us at 877-696-7373 x 1 or email for more information