Home. Made.

Rocket Mortgage

Inside every home, there’s a story. Hosted by Stephanie Foo (This American Life, Snap Judgment), each episode of this 10-part series explores the meaning of home and what it can teach us about ourselves and each other. Poignant, hilarious, provocative and downright unexpected, take a journey into the diversity of home in America. Listen to the stories of urban activists, homesteading mountain men, ghostly roommates and more. And hear compelling expert insights into behavioral science behind the fundamental need for shelter and belonging that unites us all.

Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans is an Equal Housing Lender. Licensed in all 50 states. NMLSConsumerAccess.org #3030. (833) 326-6028. Quicken Loans, 1050 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226-1906.

Introducing Home. Made.
Trailer 1 min 53 sec

All Episodes

During his time in Iraq and Afghanistan as an Army Ranger, Jon Jackson completed six tours, was hit by over 20 IEDs and watched friends die right in front of him. Over time, he learned to dissociate and became numb to the horrors he witnessed. When he finally returned home, he found a new battle was just beginning.At home in Georgia, Jon couldn’t get the help he needed for his PTSD. He felt like a danger to his family and struggled with thoughts of suicide. He knew he had to do something – so he bought a farm. Eventually, what started as an alternate form of therapy for Jon grew into a community and a place of healing – not just for himself, but for other vets in crisis, too.To see a picture of Jon Jackson at his farm, and to learn more about the podcast, visit: https://www.rocketmortgage.com/learn/podcast-episode-10

Aug 2

24 min 23 sec

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, most homes come with a past. But what would you do if your home’s past was haunting your present? In this episode, we’ll hear two stories about people who discovered they were not alone in the homes they’d moved into.After negotiating boundaries with an overprotective ghost, Steve learns to honor his Brooklyn home’s history. Krista, on the other hand, finds friendship and healing in a playful ghost’s company during an especially difficult winter in Telluride. For both Steve and Krista, the ghosts in their homes aren’t a source of fear; they’re part of the house and a connection to the homes’ forgotten pasts.To see pictures of Krista's apartment building in Telluride, and to learn more about the podcast, visit: https://www.rocketmortgage.com/learn/podcast-episode-9

Jul 19

27 min 8 sec

Kim Ford loved her home in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. She dreamed of spending her retirement on her front porch in her cast iron rocking chair, surrounded by grandchildren. For her, homeownership was a spiritual experience.But then Hurricane Katrina hit, and her family lost everything.Suddenly homeless and sheltering in Dallas, Kim worked hard to get the help she needed to be able to return home – but it was an uphill battle. In this episode, hear Kim recount how she spent years fighting for her home and how she continues to fight for her community today.Also hear expert insights on the history and rebuilding of the Lower Ninth Ward from Marla Nelson, a professor of planning and urban studies at the University of New Orleans, and Joyce Jackson, a professor of anthropology at Louisiana State University.To check out pictures from Kim Ford and learn more about the show, visit: www.rocketmortgage.com/learn/podcast-episode-8

Jul 6

27 min 39 sec

When he was just 21 years old, Valentino Dixon was sentenced to 39 years to life for a murder he didn’t commit. When he first got to prison, he believed it’d just be a matter of time before he was exonerated, but as time wore on, he started to lose hope. Then, everything changed when his uncle sent him a set of colored pencils. He urged Valentino to start drawing – he said that if he reclaimed his life, he could reclaim his freedom. That he could draw himself out of prison.And he did. 

Jun 21

24 min 1 sec

When Hrag Kalebjian agreed to take over the family’s coffee shop, he also saw it as an opportunity to finally spend quality time with his father, Henry – time he didn’t get when he was young and his dad was too busy working. But when Hrag starts making changes, Henry flips out. If they want the business – and their new-found relationship – to be successful, they’ll need to learn how to work together.In our second story: Holly and her dad, Bo, had never been particularly close. With eight siblings to compete with, one-on-one time with her parents was hard to come by. But when Bo is diagnosed with dementia, Holly realizes she has to capture as many of his memories as she can before they’re taken from him. So the two of them embark on a road trip to the landmarks of Bo’s youth – and learn a lot about each other along the way.To learn more about this podcast, visit: www.rocketmortgage.com/homemade.


Jun 7

26 min 26 sec

In this episode: Two very different stories about communication issues, and how being home alone can become a catalyst for connection.In our first story, Audrey Murray finds herself in Shanghai – completely unable to speak Chinese. When she discovers the Magic Number, however, she finds she doesn’t need to. Audrey comes to rely on it for everything, but when she’s invited to a banquet because of her constant use of the Magic Number, she realizes she needs to break out of her English-speaking bubble.In our second story, married couple Rebecca and Shawne Huff face an unhappy life together unless they can learn how to communicate. With two teenaged kids and many years of marriage on the line, the stakes are high. Rebecca discovers something called “living apart together,” a unique living arrangement that could be the answer to her and Shawne’s relationship problems. They quickly learn that this new reality will require a lot of trust to make it work.To learn more about the podcast, visit: www.rocketmortgage.com/homemade.

May 24

25 min 54 sec

Thirty years before, a mysterious woman rescued Shaheen Pasha’s family from homelessness when they arrived in New York from Pakistan. The Pashas never forgot that act of kindness from the woman they’d known only as “the landlady.” But now, as anti-immigrant sentiment overtakes the country, Shaheen needs to better understand the landlady’s gesture, and to be reassured of the good in the world. She finds it in a surprising place.Shaheen recounts her family’s struggles and triumphs and how they shaped her and changed her life. And then, her fascinating pursuit of the landlady, which unexpectedly leads her to the small town of Portage, Pennsylvania. To look at pictures from Shaheen's childhood and her trip to Portage, go to www.rocketmortgage.com/learn/podcast-episode-4 

May 10

22 min 46 sec

When Michael Wood-Lewis moved to Burlington, Vermont, he was excited to start a family and to meet his neighbors ... but they weren’t as eager to get to know him and his wife Valerie. So – long before Facebook – Michael built a community-based social network. And not only did it introduce the Wood-Lewises to their neighbors, but it also transformed how most Vermonters interacted with each other in their own neighborhoods.Michael describes the events that led to his forming Front Porch Forum and how he, Valerie and their young family finally became members of the Five Corners community. We hear from Kathleen Cagney, a professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, who explains the behavioral science of social capital and the health risks of not knowing your neighbors (really!). We also meet Lauren Curry and Julia Andrews, who founded the food bank Westford Food Shelf ... and found a lasting friendship—all spurred by one message on the forum.  And finally, tech/sci-fi journalist Andrew Liptak provides a sense of the rise of social networking in the early 2000s.  To learn more about the podcast, head to  www.rocketmortgage.com/homemade.

Apr 26

23 min 42 sec

In 1980, as Mt. St. Helens threatened to erupt, local officials evacuated the area. They had one problem: Local lodge owner Harry R. Truman refused to go. He said the mountain and the lake his lodge sat on were like his arms and legs, and if he left, he would die. But that’s what would happen if he stayed. We explore the behavioral science behind why some people refuse to leave home in the face of natural disasters, through the complicated story of Harry R. Truman.Truman’s story is told by his niece, 93-year-old Shirley Rosen, who used to work at his lodge during the summer, and who stood by in Seattle hoping her uncle would come to his senses. Jennifer Horney from the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware explains why people want to stay at home even though they might be in danger. Thomas Hinckley, a former environmental sciences professor at the University of Washington, gives us the lay of the land surrounding Mt. St. Helens. He climbed it before and after the eruption. You can see some of his “after” pictures on www.rocketmortgage.com/learn/podcast-episode-2. 

Apr 12

22 min 56 sec

Philadelphia doctor Kwandaa Roberts had it all: a thriving practice, a big house in the suburbs, two kids. But she harbored a secret dream to be an interior designer. Her chance came about when she renovated a dollhouse. And it went viral on social media. But then the pandemic happened, and Kwandaa was forced to make some difficult life decisions.Kwandaa tells Stephanie Foo her lifelong passions for both medicine and interior design. And the equally arduous paths she took to realize them. From delivering babies to redecorating dollhouses to designing homes. We’ll also hear from Sally Augustin, an environmental psychologist, who tells us how things like the colors of your walls and furniture can influence your psychological relationship with interior spaces.To see pictures of Kwandaa’s dollhouses, click here.  And to learn more about the podcast, head to  www.rocketmortgage.com/homemade.

Mar 29

25 min 19 sec

Welcome to a new show about home, and what it can teach us about ourselves and each other. In 10 episodes, we'll hear unique and engaging personal stories about the pursuit of comfort and belonging, and the many different ways people define "home."

Mar 9

1 min 53 sec