Eight-year-old Alex and seven-year-old Max are the center of Alejandro and Gissele’s world, and the reason they spent more than a year trying to purchase a home. Their hard work and patience paid off in July 2018 when their sons set foot in their Norwalk, California home for the first time.

“After we closed and realized the home was really ours, the boys spent a lot of time exploring,” said Gissele, a teacher’s assistant at Downey Unified School District; Alejandro is a manager at an auto dealer. “They kept asking things like ‘Is this really our house?’ and ‘Is this really my room?’ That was a wonderful feeling. They’ve also spent a lot of time in the backyard.”

The boys’ ability to now roam in their own backyard speaks to another reason the Chavezes had grown weary of apartment life. “Living in an apartment with two young children is hard,” said Gissele. “But it’s especially hard with a special needs child.” (Max has autism.) “You need to have that open space for many reasons, including his therapy sessions, which are much easier now.”

Light at the end of the tunnel

Closing on their Norwalk home was the final step in a long process that included several offers not being accepted, and homes they were interested in going to other buyers. And while the Chavezes were attempting to save money and prepare for homeownership, they admit they really didn’t know much about the process — until they came to Wells Fargo.

“We felt like a lot of the lenders we were working with weren’t trying to help us,” said Gissele. That’s when Alejandro walked into the South Gate branch, where personal banker Alyssa Mancillas connected him with home mortgage consultant Abel Ayala.

As with all his customers, Abel’s first step was to “get to know the Chavezes and understand their goals and what they [were] trying to achieve,” said Abel. “I want to establish a strong relationship and make customers feel comfortable with the process.”

Gissele said that, unlike previous experiences with lenders, things went great with Abel from the very beginning. “Abel made a strong impression with us,” said Gissele. “He explained that if we went with Wells Fargo, someone was going to look out for us.”

Customers like Alejandro and Gissele demonstrate Wells Fargo’s commitment to serving Hispanic homebuyers through its support of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals’ Hispanic Wealth Project. Over the last two years, the company has helped more than 87,000 Hispanic families become homeowners, and provided $2.8 million in homebuyer education and counseling for Hispanic households.

Saving grace

Abel’s biggest piece of advice for the Chavezes was to continue to save their money. As they went through the process, Abel was with them every step of the way, and they saved enough money to put 10 percent down on a home that fits their family and makes them feel secure.

“He made it easy for us,” said Alejandro.

“When you are looking for a home, you want somewhere that has good schools, where you feel safe and that when you walk in you feel like you’re home. We found all that,” said Gissele, who also thanked Realtor Maria Lazaro for being instrumental in their homeownership journey.

Abel agreed and added that he was happy he could help them achieve their dream. “Helping families is always rewarding and I am extremely happy for the Chavezes,” concluded Abel. “They are a very humble, hardworking couple. It was a pleasure working for them.”