The best part of any real estate transaction is the closing. It is the climax – the culmination of all the efforts put in by so many to help an individual or family become the owner of a new home. I love closings! But let me tell you, I’ve never been to a better closing than the one I experienced this month. To put it in context, I’ve been helping clients buy homes for over 25 years and had the privilege of personally being involved in over 5,000 closings. So when I tell you this one was the best, please understand the significance.
Part of our process at Homes for Homes is to fully vet out any potential ministry partner and fully engage with them and their procedures. In other words, we go where they are and experience who they are, what they are about and confirm that what they are doing fits our mission. So earlier this month, I found myself in Maclovio Rojas, a suburb of Tijuana, Mexico, building a home for a family there. After three days of sawing, hammering, pouring concrete and performing many other tasks I’d only seen others do when building a home, a brand new house stood where only a raw piece of land had been the week before.
It was time to perform the “closing” ceremony and I was given the privilege of turning the keys over to the Tirado family. We gave them a Bible and a few other gifts as we prayed for them and over them. As I reached out with my left hand to hand Patricia the keys, preparing to shake her hand with my right, I found myself instantly engaged in a full-on bear hug as she jumped up into my arms. I looked down at her big brown eyes, now swelling with tears, and the huge smile on her face, and I melted. I don’t know if it was the first time in her life that she had experienced it, but what I saw in her expression was hope. Her background didn’t matter and neither did her former circumstance. Her story is no different than so many others that we want to help. What matters is that now she is a homeowner and there is new hope for her family’s future.
When I disengaged from that experience on my plane ride home, there were two overriding themes going through my head. The first is that I want the opportunity to be a blessing on as many Patricia’s as I possibly can – and the opportunities are endless. Secondly, I want others to experience that same feeling I had when I looked into Patricia’s eyes and saw that gleam of hope. We are so blessed to do what we do in our professions. I love real estate. I love helping my clients become homeowners. And now I love helping the ones God has called us to care for be homeowners as well. I am in the business of helping provide homes for my clients so that I can bless others, the poorest of poor, with a home of their own. May the cycle begin: Homes for Homes.