When Jessica and Kevin Jensen were woken up in the middle of the night by the winds and rains of the Tax Day Storm of 2016, they had no idea that their lives were about to change. Living in Hempstead, TX (approximately 50 miles outside of Houston), they were no strangers to severe weather and heavy rains. “Something about this storm felt different though,” Kevin recalled during an interview, “when we looked outside and saw our 150-year-old oak tree swaying and bending, we knew this storm was significant.”
Just two years prior, as a newly married couple, the Jensens had purchased their home and farmland to settle down and raise their children. Jessica sold her previous house and Kevin took everything he had saved from his Army experience to put toward their first home together. It was a big stepping stone for them because it provided them room to grow–which they would soon need–as they discovered during the move that they were expecting their third child.
It took a couple of days after the storm for the Jensens to realize something was wrong. “We didn’t have flooding in this area, but we started noticing a musty smell and my hair kept curling up when I was inside of the house,” Jessica said. After contacting their insurance company, who told them nothing was wrong, they decided to get a second opinion. They had a water restoration company come out and found that the interior walls were 100% saturated with water. After that, things moved quickly. Their house had to be gutted entirely and the Jensen family found themselves needing to relocate until repairs could be completed.
Over the next two years, the Jensens and their three children moved on a regular basis–starting with a few different hotels, then to a short-term apartment and, finally, to a small trailer on their property. The repairs to their home were taking much longer than they could have anticipated–insurance was treating it as flood damage and was only covering for work up to four feet. “After our claim had been sitting for so long, we decided that we needed to take matters into our own hands and get this taken care of,” Kevin said. “They wanted us to give up and we weren’t prepared to do that. This was our dream home and we couldn’t afford to just give up.”
After exhausting efforts with their insurance company, but still determined to stay in their home, Kevin and Jessica reached out to their loan provider, Guild Mortgage, to see what options they had. “I’ve been a Guild customer since my first home and they did our VA loan on this house,” Jessica said. “They have always been good to us.” Once they looked at the Jensens’ situation, Guild customized a loan solution that gave them the additional funds needed for repairs, ultimately allowing them to stay in their home. They were also able to hire a local contractor to help speed things up and had moved in only a couple weeks earlier when we interviewed them.
Just before the cameras started rolling, Kevin proudly took us on a tour of the home they fought so hard to keep. “It may have been a small act in the grand scheme of things for Guild, but for us, it was everything,” he said. “Guild took all the worry off of our shoulders and I can’t even put into words how much this meant for our family. We will be Guild customers for life.”