The tale of a couple and their eight children who undertook a 2,700-mile trip to find their dream home
Picture the scene. A family of 10, packed into a cramped RV with their pet cat, decide to drive across the entire breadth of the US, from California to Wilmington, in search of a new life - and a new home.
It’s a momentous decision, as the couple’s children are all aged between four and 15 (two of them have special needs) and there’s no guarantee they’ll find an affordable home that’s big enough at the other end.
To make matters worse, before they’re even halfway into the journey, the RV breaks down in Colorado after the waterboard freezes. Exhausted and bedraggled, they eventually reach their destination after an arduous 2,700-mile journey and reach their key contact - Patrick Stoy (pictured), the owner-broker of Wilmington-based MC Mortgage Group.
Speaking to MPA, Stoy explained why the family had decided to undertake such a long, arduous journey in the middle of the pandemic. “It was expensive for them to buy in California, but as his job allowed him to work remotely, they decided to come to the east coast, where it was more affordable,” he said.
The next chapter of the story would take exactly 110 days to play out, from first contact to its happy denouement. The first problem was finding an appraiser who would take the order, as the home was in a relatively remote location.
“It took forever to get the appraisal done. Then we had to go to a second underwriter because it was a USDA loan,” Stoy revealed. “There were many delays, and of course we wanted to get them out of that RV as soon as possible.”
Picking his way through the borrower’s income structure was also a mammoth task. “Getting the income understood upfront about how he worked for one company but was paid through two different W2s meant we had to work with the underwriters to overcome that challenge,” he said.
It took 75 days to close the deal - from being under contract to homeownership - but as any broker or lender will readily admit, seeing the reaction at the end of the journey on a client’s face (or in this case, clients’ faces) has a cathartic effect.
“We were able to give them their house, so they were super excited - I mean ecstatic. We were also glad to get them out of that RV. A year ago, none of us knew what was going to close and what wasn’t,” he said.
Closing the deal was the most satisfying moment in his career to date, for very emotive and personal reasons, he added. “I grew up with a single mom, where we never owned anything. We rented - that’s all we did – so I didn’t grow up in a stable environment.”
He said the experience had shaped his thinking and his approach to work. “I don’t do this for the money, it’s really about making a difference in somebody’s life.
“The average person doesn’t have the knowledge that we brokers have, so we have to make sure that we’re guiding them correctly, because we can literally lead them to a healthier, happier and less stressful life,” he concluded.