When Alfredo first dreamed of owning a home, he had something very specific in mind. That home was unattainable at first so he decided on a starter home instead. He recently resumed the search for the perfect home, but couldn’t quite find exactly what he had in mind and high home prices in northern Idaho, combined with some debt he’d incurred was making it seem unattainable once again. Or, so he thought.
Determined, Alfredo found a home that needed a complete remodel, but having building skills he knew he could make it into exactly what he was dreaming of for his blended family of six; including four preteens and teens. He proceeded with the loan process, which included taking a Finally Home! Homebuyer Education course necessary to qualify for a second mortgage. “Although I had experience from owning a home previously, it was a great refresher,” said Alfredo. “It would be very informative for helping a first-time buyer, including how to choose what type of lender you want to work with.”
Alfredo was able to qualify for a FHA loan as well as a second mortgage through Idaho Housing. “With Alfredo’s equity from the sale of his first home, he was able to pay off his bills which fixed his debt ratio, allowing the new loan to be possible,” said Scott Petersen, branch manager with Academy Mortgage. “I worked with Alfredo on the loan for his first house and it’s so gratifying to help such a nice family again.”
With Scott’s help and the second mortgage, Alfredo was able to retain funds to remodel the house to his liking. “We’ve gutted the house and rebuilt everything except the master bedroom already,” said Alfredo. “The kids are excited for the next stage since they get to pick the color and décor of their rooms. It’s turned out great for the entire family.”
After going through a painful divorce, Brad found himself moving from place to place and even living in a camper for a while, before finding the perfect mix of home loan programs and services providing the opportunity for a new home meant just for him.
Brad had a couple things working against him making it difficult to find a home. One being the rising prices of homes in the Caldwell area making homeownership out of reach for some, especially someone starting over. The other being the progressive form of muscular dystrophy that Brad has which will take away his mobility entirely at some point making the need for an ADA-accessible, wheelchair-friendly home imperative.
Brad began working with Cathy Venrick, the executive director for AutumnGold Affordable Housing. AutumGold provides economical homeownership opportunities for low- to moderate-income participants through partnerships with IHFA and cities throughout the Treasure Valley.
“We spent more than a year looking for the right home for Brad with no luck,” said Cathy. “We started working on a seven-lot infill project with the city of Caldwell through a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, and that’s when we realized one of these homes could be built to suit Brad’s accessibility needs.”
“…we realized one of these homes could be built to suit Brad’s accessibility needs.”
To prepare for homeownership on his own for the first time in quite a while, Brad met with an IHFA, HUD-approved advisor for some pre-purchase housing advice. “We think this is important for all our homebuyers,” Cathy said. “It provides them a good foundation to know what to expect and how to develop and stay within a budget. It’s a leg up for sustainable homeownership.”
“The advisor was very knowledgeable,” said Brad. “Although I had owned a home before and already started working on a budget so I could afford a mortgage for a new home, it was still very helpful to get this advice, especially since my ex had managed our finances at my last home.”
Brad not only met with a housing advisor, but also took the Finally Home! Homebuyer Education course. “Both were very helpful, and I feel very prepared for whatever the future holds for me,” said Brad said.
Taking Finally Home! also helped Brad be eligible for down payment assistance through AutumnGold and IHFA. With this assistance and his IHFA first mortgage obtained by working with an Evergreen Home Mortgage lender, Brad was able to move into his home. “I am still unpacking and really enjoying making it my own,” Brad said.
The Finally Home! Homebuyer Education program was created more than 20 years ago to empower first-time homebuyers, help them navigate the home-buying process, and help them obtain sustainable homeownership. The industry-leading online course can be utilized nationwide and is endorsed by the state housing and finance agencies in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, and Utah. This past year a post-purchase Homeowner’s Toolkit was added for any graduate of the program to access. The toolkit contains invaluable information related to homeownership from insurance, to home repair and disaster preparedness.