The American Dream

Mortgage and Lending with The mortgage help you want when you need it.

Hal stood at the kitchen window looking out over the back yard. In three years this was perhaps the first time he had stood here. The kitchen was Kerry's domain. He ruled the small garage and the yard, Kerry the kitchen and Lisa the living room that was always cluttered with her toys.  As he stood there he thought of the day they had moved in. Kerry had been six months pregnant and unable to lift anything heavy. She had glowed as she ordered him around. This was their dream. To move out of the cramped apartment, buy a place with a yard, get a dog, raise their daughter. Kerry said it was one of the best days of her life. He had thought so too.

Hal heard Kerry walked behind him but he didn't turn to her. She cleared her throat as though she were going to speak but she said nothing. Perhaps, he thought, she had nothing left to say. As the kitchen door closed behind Kerry, Lisa came running in. She had none of her mothers reservations. She threw her little arms around Hal's leg. "Daddy, going to Nana's now?" she asked. "Yeah, sugar. I'll see you at Nana's a little later. I got something I got to do first" he replied. Kerry came back into the kitchen. "Well, that's everything I guess" she said. Hal didn't answer, he couldn't. She stared at him, willing him to speak but it was Lisa who broke the silence. "Buddy going to Nana's?" she asked. Hal turned to Kerry, helplessly. "Come on Pumpkin, Buddy's goin' with Daddy. We gotta get moving." Kerry said to Lisa. Sensing something was very wrong, Lisa started to cry. Kerry picked her up and with one last look over her shoulder, walked out of the house.

Hal stood at the kitchen window looking over the back yard. His big black dog was running around chasing leaves. He couldn't understand how it had gotten to this point. He felt paralyzed. Empty. Ashamed. He forced himself away from the window and slowly walked out the door. He turned to lock it but thought what the hell for. He opened the door to his truck and called to Buddy who came running and happily jumped in. Hal was numb as he drove. His mind just circling around, trying to figure out how it had all gone so wrong. Him and Kerry, they hadn't wanted much. Just a little place to call their own. They knew it would be tight for awhile but it always was when you're staring out. They'd figured he get into the union and get better hours and maybe a raise to help out. When the plant laid off a bunch of the guys he knew it was going to be bad so he started to look for more work. It hadn't worked out. Then Lisa got sick and Kerry had to cut her hours to take care of the baby. Then the loan payment went up. Gas prices went up. They just couldn't keep up. The bank had tried to help but in the end it wasn't enough. They had nothing left, maybe not even each other.

He pulled up in front of the grey, cement building. Just sat in the truck with his arm around Buddy. His last failure. Kerry's mom was allergic and they wouldn't have enough room for him in the basement anyway. Buddy licked his face, wondering why they weren't getting out. He had called ahead. Made the arrangements. So he got out and Buddy followed. He took his leash and walked through the door. Handed the leash and papers to the boy behind the counter and tried to shut his ears to the sounds of all the other dogs.


Shannon was out for her daily run. Even though the day was overcast and damp she couldn't keep the smile from her face. It was a good day. No, a great day! She was three miles into her run but had never felt better. The graduation had been wonderful. Her dad had been so happy that even a week later she could feel the warmth of his hug as he whispered "A nurse. Your Momma would have been so proud". She had worked so hard for the degree that sometimes, late at night she wondered if it was all going to be worth it.

Shethought, as she ran, about the call from Brad last night. His cousin worked at the bank and knew of a property that was perfect for them and hadn't even gone on the market. Brad said that it had belonged to a young couple who just couldn't keep up with the payments. They'd kept it up real nice but the bank had to take it back. Brad's cousin said the family was moving out in the morning and if they were quick they might get a good deal if the bank didn't have to pay realtors and such. Brad said it wasn't nothing special, just a little house with a big back yard. Then he said "you know if we had a back yard you could get that dog you're always after me for". She'd gotten so excited that they had driven past it last night even though the folks hadn't moved out yet.

The minute as Shannon saw the house she knew it would be perfect. She was thinking of paint colors as she cut across the parking lot of the Humane Society. She stopped for a minute to stretch and her eye was drawn to the only car in the lot. A big man sat in the cab of his truck, hunched over the wheel, shoulders heaving. It was such a sad sight she almost forgot about the house, the dog, everything. She wanted to go over and ask if there was anything she could do to help but he seemed locked in his own private world of sorrow and she didn't want to intrude. Her cell phone rang as she was thinking on what to do. It was Brad, calling to tell her that his cousin had gone to his boss and the boss was willing to sell them the house at the price they'd been thinking of. While they were talking the truck pulled out of the lot. She told Brad she'd be home soon so they could get started on the paperwork and take a look at the inside just to make sure.

Asshe started to run her thoughts turned back to the man in the truck. She couldn't help him, she thought but she sure as hell could help a dog. She knew exactly the kind of dog she wanted. A big black dog, one who could keep her company on her runs and one who would really appreciate the big back yard. As she passed the grey, concrete Humane Society building she thought "I'll be back tomorrow and spring one of you". Her landlord wouldn't mind if it was only for a little while...



Scott Geary
Infinity Home Mortgage Company Inc - Allentown, PA
Your Pennsylvania Mortgage Source

So you knew this would choke me up didn't you.... People can easily adjust to change, though it may not seem so at the time. New beginnings are always around the corner for those of us with the faith and strength to find them. For our 4 legged friends, that's not always the case. Thankfully it looks like Buddy gets to keep his house!

Hopefully this story leads a few readers to where over 182,000 dogs are looking for a home. Saving one is the first step. Very, very well written Beth!

Feb 05, 2009 11:43 AM
Erik Hitzelberger
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes - Louisville, KY
Louisville - Middletown Real Estate

Very powerful story Beth.  We seldom get to see both sides of the story when something like this occurs.  You accurately captured the despair of the seller and excitement of the buyer. 

Feb 05, 2009 12:21 PM
Paul Slaybaugh
Homesmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate

Sounds funny to say I liked this, Beth, but I did.  Haunting juxtaposition.  Very well done.

Feb 05, 2009 01:32 PM
Larry Bettag
Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001 - Saint Charles, IL
Vice-President of National Production

What a powerful post.  It does peek into some of the facts and emotions that go into both sides of this problem.  I think that it'd be hard to really be on either side.  It'd also be really hard to understand each side.  Good perspective here B.

Feb 05, 2009 02:38 PM
Jennifer Monroe
Indigo Home Team powered by Compass - Charlotte, NC
Real Estate REALTORĀ®/Broker/Designer

Now that I have my house for sale, I try really really hard not to feel overwhelmed by the sadness of letting it go - because I love this house and had big plans here once upon a time. So I tell myself that someone else is going to be just as excited as I was about getting it. I hope they will love it as much as I have.

Beautifully conveyed Beth.

Feb 06, 2009 12:04 AM
Beth Forbes
The mortgage help you want when you need it. - Center Valley, PA
Your 24/7 loan officer

Scott- I like to make you cry. It's so easy. Seriously, thanks for the petfinder link...

Erik- Thanks for your kind words. There's always more than one side...

Paul- Thanks. Of course I did have to have a happy ending for the dog...

Larry- I just was trying to point out that not everybody who ends up in foreclosure was some pretentious idiot buying a McMansion. And some times reversals in the housing market can open up the dream for someone else... Thanks L

Jenn- It is sad even if it's your decision to sell. I'm sure your buyer will love your house as much as you did.


Feb 06, 2009 01:29 AM
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Nice prose, Beth.  I love animals, so the happy ending for the dog was a pleasing way to end this for me.  Our four-legged friends will always have a place in my heart.

Feb 06, 2009 02:18 AM
Gerry Suarez Jr.
New American Funding NMLS 6606 - Orlando, FL
FL Mortgage Guru

Beth that was really touching. It's so important to remember the human side of what we do. What our industry does is make dreams come true. There is an awesome responsibility to that, as this post reminds us.

Gerry Suarez, Jr.

Your FHA Loan Pro!

Feb 06, 2009 02:40 AM
JL Boney, III
Coldwell Banker - Columbia, SC
Columbia, SC Real Estate

Great post Beth, excellent way to show the story from both sides.

Feb 06, 2009 02:44 AM
JL Boney, III
Coldwell Banker - Columbia, SC
Columbia, SC Real Estate

Bgpic11142008103101_lFeatured in M.A.N.C.R.O.W! Congrats!

Feb 06, 2009 02:46 AM
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Beth...  I won't admit what Scott did, since you can't see my eyes....  besides, Scott always cry...  Seriously, this was very touching, yet so true, that the media doesn't show and or share. And that both sides of any transaction has many emotions, good or bad. Well done..

Jeff Belonger

Feb 06, 2009 03:18 AM
Beth Forbes
The mortgage help you want when you need it. - Center Valley, PA
Your 24/7 loan officer

Sardi- I would have saved Baxter and Cooie but I like doggies better. Just needed to get out of my non blogging funk. Just wait for my riveting post about GFE's...

Gerry- We can make dreams come true and we can contribute to nightmares. I think it's very importtent to remember both of those things.

JL- Double thanks! That's so cool to be featured in my favorite group!

Jeffy- I'll make you cry. I'm so good at it.

Feb 06, 2009 05:25 AM
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

I wish I had waited to read this until after I got home from the Open House I'm I have to go redo my makeup. 

Feb 15, 2009 04:47 AM
The Somers Team
The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA
Delivering Real Estate Happiness

Beth - That was a riveting story indeed ! You have a way with words... when people lose a home it is sad, very sad... and a dog too, no mercy... I am glad you found a hero in your story !  Stephanie and I are huge animal lovers !  We have 2 cats : )  I have been lobbying for a dog but we work too much... maybe one day soon : )  ~  Chris

Feb 22, 2009 12:09 PM