In the same way as buying a home is not a matter of a singular transaction but a process that spans over time, our relationship with clients doesn’t always end when they sigd the contract of their new home: we have been fortunate enough to establish lasting relationships with several clients who have approached us to seek help to achieve their dream -and keep it alive.
Ms. Coakley is one of those South Florida residents we have been fortunate to walk with for several years now. In 2009, she took the homebuyer workshop with us, which we offer to all those searching for information about acquiring their first home. Back then, we guided her through the process and helped her purchase her home through a mortgage loan that, combined with other programs, enabled her to leave the renter’s life behind. For 12 years now, Ms. Coakley has happily owned a home in the City of Miami- within the Midtown neighborhood.
“[Back then,] I was a renter, and becoming a homeowner was a whole big change. The expectations of being a first-time homeowner are different, and also the challenges that being a homeowner brings because I never had one [a homeowner] in my family. I was the first one in my immediate family to buy a home.”
And like Ms. Coakley, many NHSSF clients are stepping into homeownership for the first time. Therefore, the information they receive from our workshops and counseling sessions have an additional value since, in a high percentage, they might be the first in their family environment to learn all the ins and outs of becoming a homeowner:
“You all walked me thru and guided me and help me with all of the steps I needed to take. If it wasn’t for you, I do not know what I would have done.”
And like almost every experience in life, get educated about something is a continuum. After acquiring her home, Ms. Coakley kept taking post-purchase classes with us (in 2010, 2012, and 2013). At that time, we offered “home assessment” courses to educate homeowners relating to the constant need for supervision of their new assets. Now, we continue to provide “post-purchase” classes to prevent homeowners from falling into foreclosure or showing homeowners the road to financial sustainability after the home purchase.
Talking about her experience as a homeowner during COVID-19, Ms. Coakley shared:
“It was a great relief because, during the pandemic, a lot of people fell behind since they couldn’t afford to pay the rent.”
She has kept up with her mortgage payments. By working hard, she has been able to avoid applying for any forbearance program in the market.
After 12 years of enjoying her home, Ms. Oakley seems interested in making some improvements, though. In this sense, she’s an ideal candidate for the Resiliency & Energy Efficiency loan program that we’re about to launch. Her home already has impact windows, but she would like her appliances to be energy efficient and thus enhance her home’s energy consumption.
When asked about what is, in her opinion, the most remarkable thing about owning your home, Ms. Coakley concludes our conversation with a firm conviction:
“I love being a homeowner; I wouldn’t take it back. It changed my life because I have the freedom into owning. The freedom into doing things I want to do to my own home.”