Stamford nurse surprised with check
Mortgage firm covers McNish’s Sept. payment
“I'm like, what did I do to deserve this?” Irana McNish Stamford nurse and home owner
DERBY — Irana McNish thought she was going to be interviewed Tuesday morning for a newsletter by the mortgage company that financed her house.
She got up, got ready and cleaned up for her guests.
“I straightened out the house and I was waiting,” McNish said.
But when she opened her front door at 9 a.m. McNish was greeted by photographers and the local branch manager for the mortgage company, Envoy Mortgage.
The newsletter was a ruse; the company came to her house to tell her they would make one monthly payment towards her mortgage, which is $1,935 a month.
McNish said she struggled to make sense of it.
“I can't believe it. It was a shock. I was thinking about all kinds of things. I wish I would have worn something better,” McNish said.
McNish was surprised once again as the company representatives pulled out a big box. When she opened it, she saw a big novelty check with her family’s name on it.
“I'm like, what did I do to deserve this?” she said.
McNish, who graduated from a nursing program this May and now works in Stamford, previously lived in subsidized housing, but it didn’t seem like it was subsidized.
She said she paid more than $1,700 a month in rent before she bought a house. She previously worked as a nursing assistant, making $14 an hour. When she became a licensed practical nurse, or LPN, McNish made more money but had her rent increased accordingly.
So she banded together with her adult children and they pooled their money, along with the proceeds from a 401k plan at a previous job, for a down payment on a house.
McNish was also finishing school. She studied to be a registered nurse, so she had to juggle house hunting with her studies in late 2020 during the pandemic and that proved to be a challenge.
“We had to go see a few houses. And I had an exam the next day. I was focused on looking at houses. So I messed up on the exam,” she said.
She scored low on what she called an important exam. But she said she stayed the course and not only managed to buy a house in Derby but also managed to pass her final exam.
Throughout all this, she also worked at an assisted living center, taking care of patients — some battling COVID-19.
Melissa Mason, branch manager at the Envoy Mortgage location in Fairfield, said that her story that made her stand out to the company.
“She was chosen because of the service that her and her family gave back to the community. And she’s a nurse — her daughter’s a teacher. She says that her son was a Marine and now serves in a National Guard. And he’s going to school right now for criminal justice,” Mason said.
McNish chose Derby due to the convenient location from her current job in Stamford.
She said she loves her house — a one-story building on Laurel Avenue with an attached garage. It has two bedrooms, an attic and a fireplace, which she hasn’t used yet but wants to try out his coming winter.
McNish said she’s going to use the money freed up from the mortgage payment to have the chimney cleaned.
She said she loves punching in her security code to open her front door. When she steps inside, she knows everything in her house is hers.
But most of all, she loves her home because it belongs to her family.
“This is our home. Nobody can tell us what to do,” she said.