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Wells Fargo Is Offering $250,000 to Three Lucky People Who Best Define What a Home Is

home sweet home

A home is many things, including shelter, a room to lay one’s head, and a place to grow up and grow old, all while creating millions of memories along the way.

It can also be a burden, a money pit, an awful mistake, and other dreadful things depending on when you bought and why.

In any case, if you can put it a lot more eloquently (and positively) than me, Wells Fargo is willing to give you $250,000.

“What Makes a Home” Contest

The San Francisco-based bank’s home lending division recently launched the “What Makes a Home” contest, which asks entrants to answer one simple question: “What makes a place feel like a home?”

And it doesn’t necessarily require much work. All you need to do is upload a photo or 30-second video, and tell them your story (in 50 words or less). That’s it.

From there, a panel of independent judges will determine who said it best.

In order to take part, you must complete a home loan application for the purchase of residential real estate with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage between April 1, 2014 and August 31, 2014.

If you’re a resident of Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Dakota or Tennessee, you don’t need to complete a mortgage application to submit an entry.

How to Win the Contest


The essay portion will comprise 85% of the overall score, so it’s clearly the most important piece. It is broken down as follows:

35% – well-defined, well-written essay (including proper sentence structure and grammar)
25% – uplifting and unique message (you need to really love the idea of homeownership)
25% – sincerity (your essay should be honest, believable, sincere)

The other 15% of your score will go toward the photo/video quality and how it relates to the overall storyline you’ve put together.

So you don’t need to be Steven Spielberg, but it won’t hurt to get the lighting right and only submit in-focus, sharp photographs.
There are three judging periods and three prizes, which are detailed above.

If you win, you get a $250,000 check! You don’t need to apply it to your mortgage either. In fact, Wells Fargo actually cautions winners about paying off their mortgage in close proximity to the home loan closing.

Looking to Drum Up Business

WF retail volume

As the competition to get your mortgage heats up, banks and lenders are looking for new ways to differentiate themselves. This is especially true now that purchase activity is taking center stage and refinancing continues to wane.

You certainly shouldn’t apply at Wells Fargo just to take part in this competition, but if you are anyway, it may be worth your time to try to win the $250,000. You might be more artistic/thoughtful than you think.

And you actually have a chance to win this thing, unlike Quicken’s impossible billion-dollar bracket contest.

For the record, Wells Fargo is the number one retail and correspondent mortgage lender in the nation, with $351 billion in origination volume last year.

That gave the company an 18.9% share of the overall mortgage market, with Chase a distant second with 9.5% of the market, and Bank of America third with 4.8% market share.

Additionally, their retail mortgage volume last year was more than the next seven companies combined, as seen in the image above.

In other words, they are a mortgage behemoth. The company is also the nation’s largest mortgage loan servicer, with a $1.8 trillion portfolio.

Good luck!

(photo: Diana Parkhouse)

2 thoughts on “Wells Fargo Is Offering $250,000 to Three Lucky People Who Best Define What a Home Is”

  1. I wish I would have known about this contest because I would have poured my heart and soul into an essay to answer the question posed of what a home means to me. I have been homeless more times than fingers can count on, due to tragedies stricken by fate, and I know the heaviness of life in garbage bags, to go from barely sleeping on concrete pillows, and park bench covers, to a sheet on the floor of a very good friend and my coat balled up under my head, it felt like I was in the penthouse of the Hilton. As I closed my eyes and listened to the tapping of the rain on the roof above me (a roof!), I realized that poverty is a state of mind. When people say “Home is where the heart is”, it’s usually mentioned casually, or referenced in an image of needle-point hung carefully on the wall; but really it is a profound truth that deserves to be confirmed in stone, and written in the foundation of our moxie, that which makes us strive for that American Dream, that front porch swing and that white picket fence; Yes I know the struggle of wondering where to “hang your hat”, but in every make-shift bed I slept in I dreamed of home, and kept going, because that’s what we do: we continue until we reach our goals, no matter how lofty they may be perceived. Yes I believe that I would have relished the chance to submit an essay describing what home is to me, but I am content with my lot in life, having no regrets, because it has taught me the importance of work ethic, faith, and gratitude, and service, among so much more, and I am thankful now for the home I have, the roof on which I am sheltered from the rain, but I can still enjoy listening to it fall, the porch on which to place that swing, and…I don’t need the fence. I am happy for the families who won the money and were given a chance to voice their beliefs: everyone deserves that chance and for a multi-milliion dollar company like Wells-Fargo to extend that generous offer is truly philanthropic, and amazing to me. God bless you! And God bless the families who won.

  2. since early times, MAN has sought shelter for protection,
    modern man seeks a HOME for many other things ,just not
    shelter… like status, self-esteem, success, money, privacy,
    both contentment and discontentment, envy, security,
    protection and envy.
    HOME has psychological symbolism for modern man.
    Home is also engineering for ones well-being and
    The American Dream is to own a home.
    At times this DREAM can be double sworded.. which can bring JOY, Happiness, but also financial burdens and

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