American Dream – Still Alive

In a time of uncertainty and dismay, little sparks of hope and light can carry your spirit in an indescribable way. I was recently reassured that the energy and time you put into life can still generate a lot of good. When I became a REALTOR®, I was motivated by a desire to improve my economic independence and be a better provider for my family. My job would be to help my clients successfully accomplish a goal that would earn us all satisfaction.

My first home sale brought me a lot of joy and sense of accomplishment. My skills and practice of diligent ethics helped me successfully represent a buyer and a seller at the same time. The sale also had the effect of bringing family closer together. The pay was good and I felt ready for a successful career.

My head is in the game

In October 2016, I met a Karla. She found a home online for $135,000. She was approved for a loan. Her goal was to buy this home for her mother. Karla’s mother works the latest imaginable hours of the night faithfully cleaning the bars and offices of the hippest parts of town. Villa Sao Miguel in North Park is an age restricted complex and Karla’s mom meets the criteria. I met Karla’s mom at the property the day after we spoke. It was perfect for her and close to all of her accounts. The mortgage payment would be affordable, the market analysis gave us confidence and we wrote an offer.  It was accepted!

Escrow opened and I met everyone involved. The Listing Agent, was great. The Seller was nice. I also called Karla’s lender. After a brief chat, he told us the building was unwarrantable. He said the bank wouldn’t offer a loan on a building with low owner occupancy. Typically, if more than half of a building’s occupants are not owners, a bank will not approve a conventional loan. I called around for Karla. Her first lender was right. No one would give us a loan.

Seller Financing

I called my broker and asked him if he could help me with this situation. In true Tom fashion, he put his broker cap on and offered his expertise. With not many options left, we negotiated with the Seller to carry the note for the loan and they agreed. It’s not the rarest thing on earth, but it is not typical. We were in business.


Long story short, after four months, countless calls and emails, Karla successfully purchased this home for her mother. It felt good. Really good.

After we saw the condo together, I drove Karla’s mom back to her apartment. In conversation, I discovered that Karla’s mother came from the same state in Mexico as my own mother. She proudly told me that her daughter was the recipient of a scholarship and attended a university. Her pride was palpable. I felt a connection to something deeper that day. The experience reminded me of my own mother. It reminded me of the sacrifices that she began making in the 80’s as a teenage immigrant. She took English classes and worked all manner of professions. From packing boxes for Ocean Pacific clothing to production lines for manufacturing plants, she worked so that she could stay in America and afford her children a better future.

Opportunity and Unity

The opportunity that this beautiful county provides still shines. Karla and her mother proved this to me. My mother proved it to me. The whole process and the intersection of our lives proved to me that the American Dream is still alive. It took many minds to come together to achieve this dream and I am proud to have contributed my energy to the process.



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