Hi, that’s me – Louis Barkhuizen. I am the founder of Love Texas Houses, and we buy homes from homeowners who find themselves in difficult circumstances.
In business, it is crucial to know why you do what you do. So why am I trying to help homeowners that have a house they don’t want or can no longer afford? First, I will be candid and say that this is a business. I do this to pay my bills and feed my family, but I’ve been in your shoes!
I have faced financial catastrophe. It gave me a deep personal understanding of what people go through when their world falls apart. This may be a business, but I do what I can to help someone else going through a similar situation.
This is my family’s personal story, but it has a direct bearing on why I started Love Texas Houses.
My wife and I have two beautiful daughters. My oldest daughter is now in college and happily pursuing her future. My youngest daughter has had severe medical problems. Without going into detail, she spent the first 4 years of her life in and out of the hospital and underwent several brain surgeries. Aside from the tremendous emotional stress that this caused my family, the financial impact was utterly devastating. Although we had good medical insurance and my wife and I both had good paying jobs, we ended up in a situation where the medical bills turned our finances completely upside down.
Slowly but surely we started falling behind with our bills. We kept our mortgage paid as long as we could, but eventually that started slipping as well. When that happened I knew we had to do something.
I remember one evening sitting with my wife at the kitchen table trying to figure out what to do. We considered filing bankruptcy, we considered cashing in what we had left of our 401K, and also considered having to “crash sell” our house. There did not appear to be any solution to our problem. One thing we both knew, though, was that we needed help.
The next day, almost choking on my pride, I went to see a financial advisor at our bank. That was a very difficult step for me, as I have always been able to take care of myself and my family. It was, however, the best thing I could ever have done. The financial advisor took account of our financial situation and created a plan that would stop the bleeding. This started the process of recovery. By this time we had several late payments on our mortgage and the nasty letters from our lender started turning up. All of our other credit cards, car loans and medical bills were already in collections at this time.
Our bank helped us to consolidate our bills and some of our credit card debts were forgiven. The repayment plan enabled us to start making our mortgage payments on time again. At this point our credit score was ruined (even though we did not reach the point of foreclosure).
We slowly but surely started the process to financial recovery. It took 7 years before our credit had recovered enough for us to get a new mortgage. It took us 10 years overall for our finances to recover from that event, but today I am proud to say that we are financially stable again. I will never ever forget what we went through, but by sticking together and seeking out help, we were able to recover our finances.
We had to make an active, conscious decision to do something about our situation. We had to take that first step of seeking help. That first step was the most difficult, but the mere act of talking to someone about our situation helped move my mindset from despair to hope.
This is my family’s actual story. The point I am trying to get across is that you can get out of your catastrophic situation, whatever it may be. You are probably, however, going to need help. Reach out to your bank or check into some of the services that provide guidance listed on our Resources page. Talk to family or friends, if only to help create a positive mindset. Hopefully I can help someone else going through a similar situation by letting go of a house that is drowning them. Please give Love Texas Houses a chance to offer our help. We look forward to working with you, and hope that you contact us soon.