After being approved for and starting the home buying journey with Betenbough Homes Lubbock South at the end of 2022, Jerry Jimenez, a trade partner, found himself fighting doubt and fear after a phone call from his lender. “You no longer qualify to buy a home,” are the words Jerry heard on the other line two weeks prior to closing on his dream home. Words that left him feeling like he failed his family – a wife and son who had been waiting nearly 7 years to make the move from Mexico to the United States to be with Jerry.
At the young age of 17, Jerry moved to the United States to pursue the American dream with hopes of providing the best possible future for himself and his growing family. Jerry left his wife, Estefania, who was newly pregnant with their first son, Leonardo. It was a risk they agreed to take and prayed it would one day lead to being home… together.
Soon after journeying to the US, Jerry met long-time Betenbough Homes trade partner and Voltec owner, Bernie Santillana, and discovered the power of a leader who cared and a career that led to vast opportunities.
A career at Voltec introduced him to work at Betenbough Homes and to other local projects like the personal home of Cal Zant, Betenbough Homes president, where he was the lead electrician. While Jerry was familiar with the homes the company built, he never dreamed he’d own one. That was until Bernie encouraged him to pursue buying.
“Bernie knew how hard it was for me to be away from my family and he encouraged me to look into buying,” said Jerry. “My mind was certain that it wasn’t possible, but he pushed me until I had the courage to try.”
In April 2022, Jerry walked into the Lubbock South New Home Center as a first-time home buyer where he met his new home specialist, Kagan Massey. Having spent hours working in Betenbough Homes, Jerry was confident in the home that he and his family wanted and needed. Kagan wasted no time writing up an agreement. She understood the true meaning of what this home meant to Jerry and his family. It was more than a home, it was the final piece Jerry needed to be reunited with his wife and kid.
“In an industry that can be all about numbers, God so gently reminds us what selling homes is really about,” said Kagan. “God’s grace is Him sending families like Jerry’s that remind you how truly special it is to help provide a home that brings a family together.”
The home build was nearing completion and closing was in two weeks. And then, Jerry received the call from his lender, “You no longer qualify to buy a home.” It was a Friday and Jerry had planned on leaving for Mexico that night, but because it wasn’t safe to cross the border any earlier than 2 a.m., Jerry went to work on a home – the personal home of Cal Zant.
There he found Cal, who visited his home often. The two were not strangers. In fact, Cal had come to respect and care for Jerry because of the many conversations the two had while onsite, and it was that care that allowed Cal to recognize something was wrong.
“I knew he seemed down, so I asked about what was going on. He told me about how he was excited to finally have his family here (with him in the US), but that it might not happen after all,” shared Cal. “A story Jerry shared with me came to mind about his son asking him, ‘why do all the other dads get to take their sons to school and you can’t?’ I couldn’t imagine not being there for my family or not getting to come home to them every day. I didn’t know the whole story, but I knew I wanted to help.”
Cal wasn’t the only one willing to help Jerry. Kagan, Jerry’s new home specialist, also received the call from the lender. Her response – “Not closing is not an option. We are getting him into a home.” Together, Kagan, Cal and the Lubbock South leaders explored which options they had to help Jerry’s situation. Together they decided to hold the home for a set time and connect Jerry with a credit repair firm to give him a shot to close on the home he had been dreaming about.
“I couldn’t understand why all these people, who didn’t know me a year prior cared so much about me or wanted to help,” said Jerry. “But I felt like it was God working through them.”
After a call with the credit repair firm, Jerry felt hopeful. On the other line was credit repair expert, Lesa Hubbard, owner of Credit Repair, Inc.
“I was very honest about the difficulty of what needed to happen to increase Jerry’s credit score. But I knew his story and see my business as a ministry to help people like Jerry who don’t know the options they have,” said Lesa.
With help from Lesa, in four short weeks, Jerry’s credit score had increased from making a home impossible to making it possible.
“It was a God thing. It was a miracle! There were so many connections with all the right people that had to align perfectly, and they did!” said Lesa. “I’ve NEVER seen this type of win in this short of time in my career, but it gave me hope, and reminded me that there are still good people in business that care for their customers.”
On January 3, 2023, Jerry closed on his home, in a room full of people who championed him along the way. Jerry left the New Home Center with his home keys in hand and immediately called his wife.
“We have a home… our home,” Jerry muttered through high emotion as he spoke to his wife. “This is why we sacrificed. All this time we were apart, this is what it was all about. Now we get to be together.” Finally, Jerry and his family would be home… together for the first time in nearly 7 years.
“I get to take [my son] to school, pick him up from school, and be there for every school meeting. I get to help my wife cook and clean and I get to enjoy every moment with them. It’s a blessing. ‘Thank you’ is not enough to describe the gratitude I feel about everyone who was rooting for me,” said Jerry.
Making homeownership possible is what Betenbough strives for and it takes a team of people sharing their gifts to bring families home.
“We’re in a position to help people by what we do and it can create a generational impact. Most people don’t think that’s possible, but we help make it a reality,” shared Cal. “Jerry has changed the trajectory of his family and he needed a home to do it. That’s what this is about.”