Houston-based national mortgage lender Envoy Mortgage continues its Gift of Home program and is on track to surprise 50 families across the country with mortgage assistance by December.
Maria Medrano Bernal, an Envoy Mortgage customer, was among the most recent group of recipients to receive the Gift of Home surprise, in Houston where the company has its headquarters.
Bernal is a receptionist at Angels That Work, an agency in Missouri City, Texas, that provides certified nursing assistants to group homes and daycare centers for the mentally disabled.
During the height of the pandemic, Maria continued to work to support the agency, but her construction worker husband had to stop and start work many times due to government mandates.
"My husband was on and off work and we were just trying to keep things afloat," she says. "When everything was approved for this home, I just started crying."
Bernal has three grown children, and two of her sons, along with her daughter and her daughter’s husband, all lost their jobs during the pandemic and are still looking for work. Her daughter and two grandchildren now live with her at her home in Houston.
Bernal and her husband officially closed on their home in January 2021 despite the extraneous circumstances of the real estate market.
"I'm from a foreign country, and homeownership has always been my dream," she says. "We began the home buying process last year and I was about to give up until our Envoy loan originator, Alex Sada, told us not to. I can't thank you all enough for this gift and the gift that I already have: my home."
Since the kickoff of the program in January, Envoy Mortgage has gifted more than 45 deserving families with one month of mortgage payments including tax, and is on track to reach its goal of surprising 50 families in December.
"This is a big gift to my family because it is a gift from the heart," Bernal says. "What else is there to say? I am so blessed."