Thank you for all the wonderful story submissions. So many touching and sweet stories that help remind us all why we do what we do. Now it's time to vote on your favorite. Invite your friends, coworkers and family to join in. Every vote counts towards determining the grand prize winners!
Vote for your favorite 2017 story by February 16, 2018.
My favorite story from 2017 is from a borrower who sold her home in California to move all the way back to Illinois just to be with her mom. Her mom was diagnosed with dementia and was having a hard time living alone. Although she had other family members helping her out, it became increasingly difficult for her to be on her own.
Our borrower sold her home in California and moved back to Illinois to take care her. She could have easily put her mom in a nursing home, but instead decided to purchase a beautiful lakeside property for them both to live in. Even though the loan posed several issues, we were able to get creative to get the loan done. There are not too many people that would do this nowadays so it really touched my heart. I hope our borrowers are very happy with their new home!
This is my most moving homebuyer story this year. This family had been through some tough times. Foreclosure and BK in 2008 due to some devastating medical bills incurred during her husbands illness. The family was on the road to recovery when tragedy struck. Her son was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He died within 3 months. Obviously, she was devastated. The family did not want to stay in the house where their son had died. Since there was a small insurance policy, they decided to see if they could qualify for a new house loan. She came to me for help.
While we went through many boxes of Kleenex together, we were able to get her qualified for a good , low interest rate loan. We ran through multiple scenarios. We decided together that instead of putting all her money into a non-liquid asset, a lower down payment with MI made the most financial sense. Keeping the extra money in a accessible liquid account for emergencies gave her feelings of comfort and stability. The small increase in her monthly payment was an acceptable trade off for the feeling of peace the savings gave her. The loan was approved and we went to closing.
She said she felt like her son was there watching over the family. While a tragedy facilitated the purchase, the whole family felt blessed and were so grateful. There was not a dry eye at the table. We are actually now almost neighbors. 4 blocks apart. They have put a memorial plaque on small corner of the house. I can see it every time I drive by. Customers like this are why I love my job. It make me feel like I make a difference in people's lives. :)
I had a couple that submitted an application to buy a home in May 2017. This couple had 3 children the oldest of which was a Junior in high school. They were currently renting and had found a house on line that they were interested in. I worked their application and let them know that they were pre-qualified to move forward. Because they had submitted a subject property, I sent them all of their disclosures.
Within minutes the wife texted my cell phone and said that they were going to withdraw for now. I called her immediately and I could tell she was overwhelmed and felt like everything was happening too fast. I told her that I could definitely withdraw their application if that was what they wanted but before I did, would they meet me the next morning (Saturday) and let me buy them breakfast, no strings attached. She agreed.
The next morning both borrowers and I met for breakfast at a local restaurant and I soon learned that they had applied for mortgage loans every year for the past several years and every time, they had become fearful about everything, the process, the closing money, the down payment money, basically they had no faith in their own ability, which had left them to raise their family in rental properties all of their adult life. The husband said, maybe if we save for a year. This had been their scenario for years. As we sat over breakfast, I laid out the entire process. On paper I showed them how they could save enough prior to closing to have what they needed without depleting everything they had. I also showed them if they looked for a property at a little lower price that their housing expense would be less than what they were renting for. I showed them what they could ask for from the seller. I encouraged them that with a goal and a deadline, they would rise to the occasion and get there.
We discussed times in their lives where they had done just that. Two hours later and with my encouragement they came up with a very manageable plan. They met with a Realtor, decided on a house a little less expensive, (that they liked better) and within two months of their original application, they closed on their very first home. The co-borrower cried and the borrower, who keeps most people at arms length, hugs me every time he sees me. While I don't advocate pushing people who aren't ready to buy a home, this couple was more than ready, they just had no faith in themselves.
I've been a Mortgage Loan Originator for 26 years, clearly experiencing a multitude of change and meeting Buyers from every walk of life. Most are delightful to work with, some challenging or combative, and then there are the occasional amazing Buyers who inspire me, who move me, who appreciate me so much for helping them accomplish the proverbial American Dream of buying a home who remind me why I continue working in this tumultuous, demanding job with long hours and significant stress!
Recently that Buyer walked into my office. In her 50th year, she bought her first home. No one in her family had ever accomplished this. Our first meeting was at least two hours long, she had so many questions. But her enthusiasm was contagious and I enjoyed educating her.
When we met again she brought me the documentation for her home loan application. She shared again how excited and scared, how emotionally overwhelming this was for her and she broke down in tears, happy tears of joy.
Throughout the transaction, she mentioned several times how proud she was to be doing this on her own. She shared briefly the physically abusive marriage she had been in, never able to get ahead. Having the courage to get out of that situation, get a solid job, and raise her son as a single Mom gave her significant confidence.
She thought it would take months to find a home. Her budget was very low, a tough price range to compete with so many Investors who pay cash. Yet she was in escrow within a month of starting her search, over and over exclaiming, I can't believe this, I really can't believe this, I'm buying a home! She didn't tell anyone she was buying a home, no one at work, not her friends, not even her family, only her son. When I called to tell her we had approved her loan, she was so excited, her voice wavering with emotion. She stopped by my office on the way to work bursting in unexpectedly to give me a big hug and say thank you. This time, I had tears in my eyes.
Throughout the process, she never stopped asking a multitude of questions, often repeating the same questions. I learned to expect long conversations and respected her enthusiasm to understand everything she was signing, everything about the loan programs, her desire to know everything about the process.
When we met at the Title Company to sign loan documents, she walked in with such excitement, still marveling that she was really buying a home. There were more tears when she finished signing and we took a photo together that will always remind me of why I have survived the mortgage industry for 26 years. When I can help someone achieve a dream so intensely special to them, see the joy and happiness on their face when we close escrow, it makes it all worthwhile.
This borrower was a single working mom who had multiple purchase agreements fall through. Supply was very low in the area at the time and she had looked at pretty much every home for sale in the county. She saw an open house listed and asked her boyfriend to go with her. They went and walked through the home, liked what they saw, then walked the yard and land that came with it.
She fell in love with the old growth trees, the small patch of woods, and the magnolia tree in the half circle drive in front of the home. When they stopped in the orchard to discuss what kind of fruit trees were there, he kissed her and it started snowing. She made an offer and the loan process began.
During processing, she discovered that one of the longest running owners of the home had actually worked at her place of work, and she sat in his office. It felt very serendipitous. Soon she was closing on the home and moving in with her son. Four months after their snowy kiss in the orchard, her boyfriend asked her to walk the grounds with him, and when they reached the orchard, he dropped to one knee and proposed. A month after that, they got married in that orchard surrounded by family and friends.
They are currently expecting a baby girl. They look forward to raising their family in that home and enjoying the fruit from the orchard for years to come.
Our first time home buyer was a single mother of a special needs child, who searched for the perfect home. After months of looking she found the one.
Her loan was cleared for closing, other than the repairs on the home. The sellers would not make repairs, the deal fell through.
With disappointment, she searched again, only to find a great home with a quick closing! We were able to get her & her son into their perfect home 5 days before Christmas, it was the perfect present for them!
We had a borrower who was relocating from another state and selling their home. The wife was pregnant and stayed behind until the house sold. Everything went great during the loan process but when it was time to do the wire some hackers intercepted their wiring instructions and had the borrower send wire to them.
When he got to the closing table the attorney was asking where his wire was. Come to find out it was fraud. The borrower cried at the table...pregnant wife, all his funds he had were stolen and he didn't know what to do. We had to move the closing to later in the month and we all had to wait and see if Wells Fargo could get the money back.
In the mean time his home sold back home. We were able to re-underwrite where funds were coming from and Wells Fargo was able to get the funds back after closing. We were so happy for this couple. Never have we had a situation like that!
My favorite story is about an elderly gentleman who made his very first home purchase - now in his retirement years. In a very small town, luckily a few good comps, with a home needing repairs. The deal was off and on as the parties negotiated how and who might complete the repairs.
Finally the parties agreed to reduce seller paid costs in lieu of seller completing required repairs to make the home loanable. The man ended up using his very limited tax return funds as funds to close and did indeed close on the purchase of his first home.
He wanted to retire to a small community, among his old friends, and finally have that garden and small space to mow and tend and call his own. And to share time with his lady friends :) He was a character and I felt joy knowing I had a small hand in his lasting happiness through mortgage lending.
My favorite story is from a young couple who came in to see me spur of the moment because their son's field trio got cancelled because of the rain. They thought that they would be unable to get approved because of some credit issues. I took their application and I was able to give them a preapproval.
They sat in my office in disbelief. We went through the process and during the process, they kept saying we never thought that we would be able to afford our own home. They walked through a home and their 4 year old son said, mom this is the house, I found my room. They made an offer and it was accepted.
We were able to close in just a few weeks and the most touching part is that he is a military veteran and we were able to close the Monday following veterans day, as it was on a Saturday. I cant describe what a great feeling it was to help these people, who thought their dream wasn't an option for them at the time. To help a veteran was just icing on the cake!!
We worked with a borrower named on her VA home loan. She was a first time homeowner and is military veteran. During the loan process, she was living with many different friends as her apartment had been flooded and contained mold, which was making her sick. She also has a boxer named Flower, who was not able to be with her due to her living situation.
There were many hurdles to overcome during the loan process, but every single time I called her and asked for another piece of documentation, she delivered it immediately and was so, so grateful. She was (and is still) always very kind, thankful, and appreciative. When I told her we were clear to close, she cried and screamed in the middle of a parking lot!
She was the greatest borrower I have ever worked with and she couldn't be more deserving of winning! How better to honor one of our finest? Back to top of page
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*Winning lenders will receive an Amex Gift Card for themselves and their borrower. Every entry has a chance to win a submission prize of a $25 Amex Gift Card.
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