“Andrew and Dhel Camp told their fourth landlord that this was going to be their last move. Until they could buy a house. ”

The Long Journey Home

PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA  — “There are a lot of things you think are supposed to happen by the time you are in your late 30s, have two kids, and are established in a good career,” Andrew said. “I feel like for someone in my same career 30 years ago, buying a home wouldn’t have taken this long and wouldn’t have been this difficult.”

The Camp’s home-buying dream was generations in the making. 

“When my parents came to the United States, one of their biggest dreams was to own their own home,” Dhel said. “I moved from Mexico with my mom and sisters when I was seven. My dad had gone ahead the year before, trying to find work and send us enough money to make the trip. We eventually walked across the border with only what we could hold.”

For the next 31 years, Dhel and her family worked hard to build a life in California, but home buying was always out of reach. 

“My dad would always take us to open houses that were way above anything they could possibly purchase,” Dhel recalled. “But he wanted to dream. He came here because he wanted to give his kids a better life.” 

Dhel’s mother became a seamstress and her father a mechanic, but they never became homeowners. 

“I met Andrew through his best friend,” Dhel said, turning to her now-husband with a smile. 

“We built a good life together,” Andrew added. “But homeownership was missing. For example, our eight-year-old daughter wanted a puppy, but there was no wiggle room with the landlord.” 

“Then, we found a lending program for CPAs that would allow us to purchase more house with less down payment,” Andrew continued. “We found Lisa Steele with NextHome Wine Country Premier and started looking. We were so close to being that mythical buyer who finds their perfect home on the first try. We put in an offer that was about 10 percent over the asking price, and waited.”

Andrew and Dhel were outbid by alot.

“At that point we knew we were resigned to the trickle of inventory that was coming on the market in our price range,” Andrew said. 

As hard as they worked, the hurdles kept coming. 

“Then, the bank that services the specific type of loan that allowed us to buy in the first place got bought out,” Andrew said. “And they put a hard stop on when we would have to have an offer accepted by. We were working with whatever came on the market plus a hard deadline.”

The Camps put in four offers, some of them more than 20% over the asking price. 

“As the clock wound down, Lisa suggested we lower our expectations just a little bit,” Andrew said. “Maybe we needed to find something that wasn’t so turn key. Well, I wrote back to her and said, ‘how about we go in the other direction!’”

Andrew had found their dream house. 

“We looked at this big beautiful house, in a very nice area, that looked like it hadn’t been updated since it was built in 1991. Well, that satisfied Lisa’s request that we look a little lower than ‘turn key’ and it was perfect for us. We made an offer below the asking price and they accepted it on July 4th – seven days to spare from the expiration of our lending program.”

“It is beyond anything we could have dreamed of,” Dhel said. “My dad has said that all he wanted for his daughter was to have a good life, a better life than what we had in Mexico. He is really proud to know that we are homeowners and we have put roots down. It’s his dream come true too. He always wanted to give us that, but he couldn’t. I think about how my mom would feel. She passed away 10 years ago. She would have been so happy to see how far we’ve come.”


Get to know

Lisa Steele

Lisa Steele prides herself on offering superior personal service before, during, and after your transaction.

Share This Story

More Stories