August 25, 2019

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There’s No Place Like the Home Next Door

When they were kids, siblings Kenneth and Leah Martinez loved their elderly next-door neighbors like extended family. Years later, they are now the proud owners of the house next door, with help from Wells Fargo’s NeighborhoodLIFT® program.

Submitted by: Wells Fargo & Company

Categories: Community Development, Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions

Posted: Jun 24, 2019 – 12:14 PM EST

 

In his teen years, Kenneth Martinez would often drive home after school, pull into his driveway, and see a familiar sight next door: His elderly neighbor, sitting in the shade of an old tree, waving at him.

He’d usually chat with the kindly gentleman, talk about their suburban Los Angeles neighborhood, and share a few laughs. The neighbor and his always-friendly wife were like extended family, and Martinez and his dad often helped them with their household needs.

Today, the couple’s old home is full of new electrical outlets, fire detectors, and other repairs or upgrades — courtesy of Martinez and his father.

Earlier this year, when the neighbor’s widow and daughter offered to sell the house to Martinez and his sister, Leah, they jumped at the opportunity to become first-time homeowners.

“The main reason my sister and I felt so comfortable getting that house is we knew it had been so well maintained,” said Martinez, 29, now a welder at an aerospace plant. “My dad actually did most of the work. I just helped. We’re a close family, and I always knew I wanted to live near my folks. I guess you can’t get closer than this. We’re next-door neighbors now.”

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