Freedom First’s Affordable Housing Program is managed by a Virginia Housing Development Authority-certified Mortgage Loan Officer who works with members for months or years to achieve the goal of home ownership through smart finance management, down payment assistance, home ownership counseling, and nonconforming mortgage loan products. These home loans undergo custom underwriting, sometimes using alternative proof of credit, to ensure that the borrower can safely afford their home and have the opportunity to build wealth through home equity.
Financially Fit In Only Five Months
When Daniel and Nicole B. decided they wanted to buy a home, they first tried inquiring at bigger banks. “They just showed us numbers, as opposed to having a conversation with us and asking who we are, what our goals are,” Daniel recounts. But the couple felt an immediate difference when they came to Freedom First. “It was about the person over the credit score or amount of money, and the counselors shared their own home buying stories with us, which made us feel less alone.”
Daniel and and his wife Nicole sat down with one of Freedom First’s financial coaches to figure out what they needed to do to buy a home. It was difficult to overcome the fear of sharing their finances with one another, but they were determined to do whatever it took to reach their goal. “There was no judgment through the whole process,” Nicole says. “They stayed right with us the whole time. And now we’re comfortable enough to coach each other, to talk to each other about financial decisions we used to make on our own.”
The coaching sessions established an action plan to keep the couple focused on their goal. Originally, the plan was meant to take about a year to accomplish — but Daniel and Nicole far surpassed their own expectations by becoming homebuyer ready in only five months. The coaches had never seen anything like it before!
“We worked really hard on building our credit and getting everything in order,” says Nicole. “But in the back of your mind you still have that fear and doubt about whether or not it’s really going to happen. But Allison, our Mortgage Loan Officer, reassured us that she would take care of the financial side and told us to have fun picking out a home we really love.”
“From the start, it always felt like Freedom First was working just for us,” Daniel adds, referencing the financial coaching team and Community Development Mortgage Loan Representative Allison Wolf. “They were solely invested in our journey and genuinely excited for us. They even came to our housewarming party to celebrate! It made us feel like we made the right decision to work with Freedom First.”
When asked about advice for others in similar situations, he has this to say. “No matter how bleak your situation may seem, it’s not impossible to overcome it. If you put the work in, ask for help, and be patient, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.”
Read more in our 2018-2019 Community Impact Report.