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A friend through tragedy: How broker helped Gold Star mom find dream home

But the broker acknowledged she was initially hesitant to do the deal. “I cried and didn’t want to do the loan,” she said. “I didn’t want to profit from it. I told her I’d tell her VA guy how to do the loan,” she said, referring to the US Department of Veterans Affairs. “I just didn’t want to profit from it.”

But her friend insisted she be her broker: “Shana called me and said, ‘you need to step in.’” Schuetta credited United Wholesale Mortgage for being able to provide an array of financial products from which to choose that fit Chappell’s needs.

During an interview with MPA, Chappell recalled what can only be described as a premonition from her fallen Marine son. “Before Kareem deployed, one day he and I had been through the drive-through dairy and I bought a lottery ticket,” she recalled. “And he said, ‘why are you wasting your money buying lottery tickets?’ and I said I would like to win the lottery and have money to buy my own house.”

Kareem had long voiced his hopes she would achieve homeownership and extricate herself from a bad relationship at the same time. “He said ‘you don’t have to worry about that because I left you my life insurance policy,” she recalled him saying during their errand to the store. “ ‘So, if something were to happen to me, you could leave dad and have your own house.’ I told him I’d rather have you alive than have a life insurance policy. Nothing’s going to happen to you, so I need to win the lottery.”

Fate would tragically alter those plans. Even in the throes of her grief, Chappell gradually became emboldened to honor her son’s wishes. She ended up using the life insurance proceeds toward a down payment on a home, with assistance from Schuetta in structuring the deal.

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