Napa Valley Lending’s Ellen Kohagura
Takes Complex and Makes it Simple
WRITTEN BY Fran Miller


Published On: June 02, 2022
Photos Courtesy of Napa Valley Lending

The birth of her first child led Ellen Kohagura to a career that has, for the past three decades, provided great fulfillment. Desiring to care for her baby, she left a prestigious and demanding Southern California-based communications job to explore more flexible opportunities within the world of mortgage lending, and she was hooked. “The detail, the strategizing, and the close relationships that I formed were exciting,” said Kohagura. “I knew very quickly that I had found my calling.”

After realizing great initial success in Southern California, Kohagur moved north, following her parents, who had moved to wine country several years earlier. She began working at Investors Trust Mortgage in 2002. She established Napa Valley lending in 2008 and since then, has helped her clients to purchase new homes, refinance, consolidate debt, and solve varied financial challenges. Her family-run business is 100% referral-based. Daughter Jordyn Villaluna is executive assistant, sonin- law Joseph Villaluna is marketing director, and husband Mark Kohagura is operations director. She is in the top 1% in the nation for production, and she feels fortunate to be affiliated with C2 Financial Corp., the largest brokerage in America, with whom she is a consistent top producer.

“Ours is a boutique operation, based on the belief that our customers’ needs are of the utmost importance,” said Kohagura, who, though based in Napa, continues to offer her services throughout California. “I am involved in every transaction, from soup to nuts. We make the processes as painless as possible. Our goal is to create lasting relationships with each of our clients so that we may continue providing excellent world-class service for a lifetime. Our entire team is committed to meeting those needs. As a result, a high percentage of our business is from repeat customers and referrals.”

Client Melanie Clerici met Kohagura 19 years ago through their then young sons; the two have completed multiple transactions together over the years. “I once mentioned an impossible real estate transaction we were about to enter into, not knowing she was a mortgage broker,” said Clerici. “Ellen’s eyes lit up as she quickly rattled off several scenarios we could explore. Her knowledge and expertise and her vast network of industry professionals were so impressive that we turned everything over to her, and she made the impossible happen. Her energy, enthusiasm, and amazing sense of humor are contagious, making even a lot line adjustment and mortgage refinance fun.”


Added Suzy Pratt Anderson, owner and broker with Coldwell Banker, “Ellen has been the most supportive and knowledgeable lender with whom I’ve ever worked. She is always available for a consultation, she quickly gets my buyers approved, and takes care of every aspect of the client’s needs, from the loan to the appraisal, insurance, and escrow. She is warm, friendly and my clients are always overwhelmed by her kindness and efficiency.”

“Ellen is absolutely the best mortgage broker my clients and I have ever worked with,” said CPA Greg Bennett. “She is ALWAYS able to get the job done and in a timely manner.”