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A Home Within Reach

Posted by Freedom First Credit Union on Sep 6, 2022 9:40:17 AM
Freedom First Credit Union

Franklin, a young Roanoke man looking to spread his wings and live independently, came to Freedom First hoping to buy a home of his own. He had experience living as a renter but moved back in with his parents when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Franklin began his career journey 10 years ago when he joined the Carilion team after successfully completing the Project Search Special Education Program through Montgomery County Schools. He’s an active participant in Young Life, Best Buddies of VT, and his softball team made it to the Special Olympics National Games in 2019. He had enough saved up for a down payment, but with no credit score he struggled to qualify for a traditional mortgage.
Freedom First’s Affordable Housing Program uses alternative credit sources - such as bill payment history verified through account transactions - to provide custom underwriting for people in situations similar to Franklin’s. Thanks to the hard work of all parties involved, Franklin closed on his townhouse in June of 2021. But purchasing a home was just the first step - he now has undertaken a variety of home improvement projects to truly make it his own.
Freedom First’s Housing Advocate, Allison Wolf, worked closely with Franklin and his mother Anne to help him buy his home. There were a number of obstacles, such as rejected offers and complications with his home inspection.
But the three banded together and worked through each problem until Franklin was finally able to call himself a proud homeowner. “Allison was so great and a very positive person to work with,” Anne said. “As a parent, you love to see your children achieve their goals.”
Freedom First’s Affordable Housing Program is by no means a one-size-fits-all solution. Allison Wolf, Freedom First’s Housing Advocate, often works with members for months - or even years - to help first-time homebuyers build credit, save for a down payment, access down payment assistance, understand closing costs, find a trusted Realtor, and recommend custom underwriting for unique cases that might otherwise be denied via a more traditional route.
“Buying a home is complicated and stressful for anyone, whether you have a great deal of resources available to you or not,” said Allison. “Many of the members I’ve worked with over the years either don’t realize that homeownership is achievable for them, or they are totally overwhelmed by all of the paperwork and costs that add up. That’s where this program can help."


Topics: Our Impact

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