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
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.
(photo: Diana Parkhouse)