Episode 21: Family Experiences – The Acuna Family
Mousetrap: Well, all right, all right. Welcome back to another episode of Doublewide Dudes. This is going to be the third part on our Family Experiences series. But since the last time we spoke to you guys, Hurricane Harvey hit pretty hard on the Texas coast AP.
AP: Yeah. It was pretty devastating. They’re saying definitely one of the worst storms to hit the United States and our thoughts are definitely with all those families that have lost loved ones or their homes. It’s just been nuts Mousetrap.
Mousetrap: Yeah. There’s some devastating damage AP. It’s not only Houston but the Corpus and the Rockport area. I was just talking to a lady today. She had just bought land there in July, I think. The eye of the storm passed through and her house got demolished along with 80 percent of the city.
AP: She was down where?
Mousetrap: At Rockport.
AP: Yeah. Rockport I think got hit the worst, right? Category 4.
Mousetrap: It slammed right into there and then drifted up Houston.
AP: Yeah. Yeah. It’s been nuts to watch Mousetrap. At the same time, I think in a kind of strange way, I think the country kind of needed Harvey. It’s been really incredible to see the country, the state of Texas, everybody coming together and everybody just focusing on helping each other out down there in Houston. J. J. Watt, my favorite player of all time.
AP: He jumped on there. I think they’ve raised close to $20 million to help the folks rebuild down there in Houston.
Mousetrap: In a week and a half, right? Basically.
AP: Yeah. It’s been crazy. I know you were talking about it earlier. This is the first time a storm like this has hit when we’ve had social media, when we’ve had Facebook. My nephews, my wife’s family, they were all in town this weekend from Houston. And he was posting these Facebook live videos right when the storm was happening and water coming up, thankfully not into their house, but right up to it. It was crazy to see streets flooded.
Mousetrap: It’s crazy. I know J. J. Watt started like, that’s just the power of social media. I think his goal was first $500,000.
AP: Yeah. He started it small and it just snowballed out of control.
Mousetrap: On his Instagram, there’s 7 videos each time with it raising the goal. Close to 20 million. It’s not going to stop.
AP: Yeah. And it’s definitely, it’s going to take a long long time and a lot of money to help these areas, the coast, and Houston and everybody rebuild. Definitely hope this isn’t one of these Internet crazes that goes away after a week. Definitely hope this unity as a nation, as a state continues and we stay focused on getting these people back up on their feet.
Mousetrap: Yeah. I don’t doubt that’s going to happen. A lot of people with their boats came out and helped. It made me feel good man seeing that and seeing so many people come together and save lives.
AP: Yeah. Absolutely.
Mousetrap: Yeah. And another feel good story. I mean, just this interview that I heard between you and Jimmy.
AP: Yeah. Jimmy’s an incredible young man. He’s 22.
AP: You see in the news a lot recently, it’s kind of the thing to talk about how hard it is for the millennials to become homeowners.
AP: And this, that and the other. In interviewing Jimmy you hear the complete opposite of everything you’re reading about in the news. Here’s a young man that’s absolutely been working his tail off to the point where sometimes it was hard to get paperwork done and what not just because he worked so much. Starting a new family. He just had a brand new baby boy born. He was bound and determined to make sure that his young son came into a new home.
AP: And that’s what he made happen for his family. Really proud of this young man and it was an honor to be a part of making that all happen.
Mousetrap: Yeah. And just editing and hearing into the interview I could just hear the maturity in his voice. At such a young taking on this responsibility and just knowing that working hard is all that he focuses on and what it takes for him to build any type of vision or plan for his family. So it’s good stuff man. Let’s jump right into the interview, that we’re going to hear Jimmy’s first take on his process on becoming a homeowner. Enjoy.
AP: He sir. It’s Alberto again.
Jimmy: Hey. How you doing Mr Alberto?
AP: Good. Good. I catch you at a better time this time?
Jimmy: Perfect Sir. I just finished eating.
AP: All right. Awesome. Ern was telling me yall just had a baby.
Jimmy: Yes Sir. We sure did.
AP: Congratulations. Boy, girl? What’d yall have?
Jimmy: A boy.
AP: That’s awesome. Congratulations. What did you all end up naming him?
Jimmy: We named him Julian Kendru.
AP: Julian, what’s the middle name?
Jimmy: Yes Sir.
AP: Well that’s awesome. So we got you all that new home just in time, huh?
Jimmy: Yes Sir. It was actually perfect.
AP: Very cool. How yall liking it so far?
Jimmy: We love it. Everything’s great. There’s always a few details here and there. But everything, in general, is great.
AP: Well that’s good. I know we still owe you that cosmetic walk through as soon as we get that punch list from you.
Jimmy: Yes Sir.
AP: And I think last time you and I talked, we were doing the closing documents and you had just gotten a promotion, right?
Jimmy: Yes Sir.
AP: How’s that going for you?
Jimmy: It’s going great, going great. After that, I transferred to a Mechanic and got a promotion there. It’s going great.
AP: Very cool. See, you’ve got a new house, new baby, two new promotions all in one year, huh?
Jimmy: Yes Sir.
AP: I think you’re winning at this point. You’re doing good man. That’s good to hear.
Jimmy: I’m doing great. It’s been a great year, thankfully. And I hope it’s going to stay this way for the rest of the year.
AP: Well that’s awesome. I don’t know if Ernest told you. We’re working on a Podcast series right now, Family Experiences. And basically, what we’re trying to get out of this for our listeners is just some experiences of folks that have gone through the home buying process, that have purchased a manufactured home, kind of get behind the thought process that led up to it. And then your experience going through the process. And then any advice you may have for folks thinking about making a housing change.
Jimmy: All righty. Yeah. Sounds cool.
AP: The first question I’ve really got for you Jimmy and I know, I mean, you’re pretty young, right? You’re in your early twenties?
Jimmy: Yes Sir. I’m 22.
AP: 22. I guess my first question for you Jimmy, there’s all sorts of articles you’re seeing in the news and this and that on how our generation, the millennial generation, is really struggling to become homeowners. Ever since we got to know you back in March, you’ve just been busting your tail and you’re kind of the opposite of that stereotype they’ve been talking about in the news. What do you think makes that the case for you Jimmy?
Jimmy: Well, most of all, I mean, I’ve always been taught to work a lot. I honestly, I don’t see myself going down the drain. Yes. I agree with the stereotypic attitude of all the other people around here. I can say that my generation’s really not as great as I wish they would be. But I’ve always worked hard, always had big dreams and I have big dreams and I’m pursuing them. Like you said, I’m young. I’m 22. I think there’s more than just a home and maybe a car or two for my family. I dream big. Having the best of the best. And only hard work can get you there.
AP: Right. Right. I know sometimes it’s tough to get a hold of you because you work, I think you worked more than we do over here.
Jimmy: Yeah. I’m not sure about the hours that you guys run. But I do get up real early, right around 4 to get up, to go to work, get ready to go to work. I get up 4 in the morning. And today, it was actually my day off and I had to go in and I just got home. So if that’s my day off, on a regular day I usually get home right around 10, 11 at night.
AP: Getting home at 5 o’clock on your day off. Most folks would call that a full day’s work.
Jimmy: Yes Sir.
AP: Do you think knowing that your son was on the way drove you to work harder? Or were you always like that?
Jimmy: Honestly, I’ve always worked this hard Sir. I was 18. I had no responsibilities, no bills whatsoever but my rent and I still worked that kind of hours. Made a lot of money. Had a lot of fun. Never did anything stupid. Never got in trouble. But I’ve always worked this hard. Like I said, my thoughts and thinking of everything has always been work hard and you’ll get to where you want to be. I guess it was an easy transition for me to get married, have a family because I was already used to it.
AP: Right. So when along that journey of working hard did you decide that you were ready to become a homeowner?
Jimmy: The first thing that I did was move here to Odessa. I was already with my wife. We did not know that we were pregnant already. And we had already decided we need to become homeowners because I’m tired of just bouncing around renting places. Like we all know, that’s just money we practically say throw it away because it’s not even put to an investment to where you’re getting something out of it. It’s just keeping you going on a month by month basis. Then I told my wife, I was like, “Hey. It’s not going to get us anywhere. So I’d rather wait a little bit more and get one of the cheapest places around and get a home. We need a home”. And that’s when we started shopping around. Shortly after that, we found out that we were pregnant. So I told her, “Hey. You know what? I’m going to go straight for a new home. I’m not going to go for anything second marketed for the reason that the best for the family and that’s what I’ve always done. And gratefully, that’s what I did get.
AP: Yeah. Well. That’s a tremendous amount of responsibility all in one year. You get a mortgage and you get the responsibility of raising your new son all together. How has your life and your wife’s life changed now that you are homeowners?
Jimmy: Well, obviously, the bills are always going to be a part of your life. So no matter where you go, bills are always going to be there. I wouldn’t count that as a life changing event. A way that it did change and that I’m pretty sure anybody’s life would change this way is the privacy that you do get. The comforts that you can put to your personality, to your own personal life that you can live. It’s just great. It’s very comfortable. It’s a lot more peaceful. You get to make your own decisions. It’s very amazing.
AP: Yeah. So privacy, peace of mind and you get to do it your way basically.
Jimmy: Yes Sir. Basically, that’s it.
AP: So how long did you and your wife talk about becoming homeowners before yall took action and started making steps to make that possible?
Jimmy: Well. Like you said, you got to know me in March. Since we knew that we were going to have our baby, we started talking about it about, I want to say about a month before it, which that would be right around October of 2016. And I didn’t even come across you guys’ company until March and got to know you guys. So it’s a good while. We thought about it for 6, 7 months before we even decided, “Okay. This is the place we want to go through”. There’s a lot of competition out there. But I can honestly and very comfortably say that you guys are one of the best people that I have ever talked to and dealt with, in the fact of hospitality, you guys are the best. I’d have to put my hands down on that one.
AP: I sure appreciate that. It’s fun helping folks like yourself make that life changing event. I’m curious. Between October and when yall contacted us in March Jimmy, what options did you and your wife toss around? What were some of the discussions you all had?
Jimmy: We first started with used mobile homes, see what we can get here and there, something cheap. I wasn’t looking to spend a lot of money for the due fact that we weren’t really at notice. Back in October, we weren’t at notice that we were pregnant yet. So when we did come into notice that, “Hey. We’re pregnant”. And then I told my wife, “Hey. You know what? I’m going to go ahead and shoot for it and shoot for a new home”. We started tossing around companies. And we tossed around every single company in town. And we looked at every single option we had in town before I even started searching anywhere else. And I can easily say there’s around 20 to 25 companies in town that I went to go look at and look at their prices. I compared everything. Hospitality, delivery, services. Everything. And like I said, I have to put my hands down on you guys’ hospitality and customer service.
AP: Well, again, we sure appreciate that. Wow. 25 different dealerships before we started talking?
Jimmy: Yeah. 20 to 25 before we even started talking. Yes Sir.
AP: That’s a lot of shopping. I know it’s a big experience and big choice. We definitely encourage folks to shop. But I don’t know if I’ve ever met someone or talked to someone that did that much research. What was the experience like talking to that many dealerships?
Jimmy: Well, honestly, I personally learned a lot as a customer. What company is trying to just get you to buy the home and they’ll turn around and screw you. I learned how to evaluate the company itself as of how they were treating you, how they really wanted to help you out. A lot of companies out there, you go in there and they promise you a set price. They promise you a new home. Sometimes they promise you a delivery and a setup and the caliche pad. The whole nine yards to go with this new mobile home that you’re buying. The best home that I came across, they promised me the price that you guys were giving me. And I went in there, right before, we were getting ready to sign paperwork, started filling everything out. And he bumped that price up almost $8,000 over what he had said it was a set price. That’s something that I really appreciate from you guys. Because when you guys gave me a set price, it was that price and we always stuck to that price.
AP: Wow. So you all were about to buy elsewhere and all of a sudden the price changed $8,000?
Jimmy: Yes Sir. It was a tremendous increase. I was really upset with him. He kept calling me back. Like I said, I shopped around. I knew what my options were. That was even before I met you guys. I was about to shop for a home that was about $8,000 more expensive and you guys gave it to me. And it was the same home. Not the same home actually. In my opinion, it was a more simpler home than the one that you guys provided for us. It was just all around a great decision for me to keep searching.
AP: Yeah. We’re definitely glad you did. What advice Jimmy would you have for folks that are just starting the process and just starting to shop retailers? I know you said you kind of figured out a way to tell who was legitimate and who was honest and who wasn’t. What advice would you give to folks listening that are about to go through the same process?
Jimmy: Some big advice that I would tell them is, don’t let them just say it to them. Realize what they’re saying to you. And when they get down to the paperwork, make sure that that is what they put on the paperwork. If they told you they would get you some, let’s say a caliche pad and a delivery and a setup and all for a price. Once they tell you that price, make sure you remember that price. There’s a lot of companies that go out there and they and promise you this and that. And before you know it you’re signing paperwork and you never paid attention to that price again. And you accepted something that was not the cheapest. And it might not even be the greatest service for the same reason that they just say it, but they will not put it on paper.
AP: So it sounds like really hold them accountable to what they’re saying when they’re trying to get you excited basically.
Jimmy: Correctly. Yeah. Just be very careful for those companies, that they are trying to just hook you onto them and before you know it, they’re just selling you something for a way higher price. And something that’s not a quality as of, I can say as you guys’ because your quality was great and I really appreciate the way, your customer service and the way I was treated throughout the whole experience from day one to the day of closing, I really appreciate it all.
AP: Yes Sir. What’s really unique about this Jimmy, we’ve actually never met you face to face. You never saw our product in person. It was all online and over the phone. I mean this is a huge decision. What was going through y’all’s mind when you were exploring the possibility of doing business with a company, knowing you would never meet us face to face?
Jimmy: That was actually a very scary experience for me. And then my wife is sitting next to me and says the same thing. It was a very scary experience for me. I was putting my money on the line and all that. But I did, respectfully to you guys, I did make my research up on you guys. Something that really helped you guys out for my decision towards you guys, the Podcast, all the stories that you guys shared and how you guys did all these people’s homes. That really motivated me that then, these are really legit. They have videos they’re posting. A big thing that caught my eye was Facebook. I know there’s a lot of people that use Facebook nowadays and that caught my eye. I went to you guys’ page and I did research a lot of stuff and how you guys worked and how long you guys took to make homes and all that. And, yeah. Everything that I researched and everything that came out of you guys’ mouth, yours and Ernest’s, it was always set in stone and you guys came across with it. And that’s something that I grew trust in and I believe that you guys were the best company that I could have gone with.
AP: Well, that’s awesome. Even though you never got to meet us, right? At the end of the day, you felt comfortable?
Jimmy: Yeah. I never got to meet you. I wish I would have had the chance. I saw a couple of videos where you guys would deliver homes and have all the GoPros on the house. You guys would go down and make sure everything got setup right. And I had that hope in me that you guys would come down, I’d get to meet yall and thank yall personally the way you guys treated me, but it didn’t happen and that’s all right. This is a great experience like you say. For me, it’s a great experience to be able to say, “You don’t have to meet you”. I don’t have to meet you for you guys to be able to say, “Hey. This is a responsible company. A responsible partnership between you guys”. I really encourage anybody that can go out there and research you guys, research all the other companies and they’ll see that you guys are one of the top quality companies that I could ever have seen out here in Texas.
AP: Well, thank you Sir. One day we’re going to be out there in Odessa Jimmy and we will definitely let you know when we get out there. Likewise, if you all ever make it down to San Antonio, you know you’ve got a free dinner on us.
Jimmy: Well. I really appreciate that. I’m always going to be out there. I’m always driving. I’m always doing something. Maybe one day we’ll bump into each other and we’ll have that to be able say, “Hey. We had dinner together”.
AP: Yes Sir. Lastly Jimmy, any last advice you would give to someone that was in your shoes? You said you listened to the Podcast and that helped you make your decision. Any last bit of advice you would give to someone just starting the process and thinking about making the move to become a homeowner?
Jimmy: Big advice that I say is don’t get caught up by the first company. Don’t get caught up by the first price. Don’t rush. First of all, don’t rush to buy your home. Everybody out here, I know they want to get in a home. I know they want to get comfortable. They want to feel like their money is worth it. Like I said, me and my wife, we sat it out for around 6, 7 months and believe it or not, we were living in a little RV sitting it out, waiting to buy the right home.
AP: So just patience. Make sure it’s the right decision, not the rush decision.
Jimmy: Yes Sir. Pace yourself. Make sure it’s the right decision and you are buying what you want. I knew what I was buying with the model. There was one in town. I went to go look at the one in town just to look at the model and that’s whenever I contacted you guys and said, “Hey. Look. I’ve seen the model. I’ve been in the model. So I know what I’m trying to purchase from you guys”.
AP: Well, awesome Jimmy. Thank you so much for being a guest on our Podcast and sharing your experience with our audience. We’ll definitely stay in touch. I know we owe you a service walk through once we get your punchlist. Heck, everytime I talk to you it seems like you’re getting promoted so I’m curious to see where you’re at the next time we chat.
Jimmy: Well sir, I hope everything keeps going well the same way this year has been going. And I hope everything goes great for you guys the same way. We’re all in this life together, we’re all in this boat together trying to make superior life of everything that we have. So I really hope that you guys do great yourself.
AP: Well thank you sir. And our best to your new son and your growing family. You take care.
Jimmy: Thank you sir, you do the same.
Mousetrap: That was Jimmy and Alberto talking about this home buying experience. That was a solid interview and there was a lot of good information and tips that Jimmy threw out there. I hope you guys enjoyed it. That does it for this episode. We’re going to have about one or two more episodes in the Family Experiences to share with you guys. As always, thanks for tuning in and we’ll talk to you in the next one.[End of audio]