Featured Story: Andrew and Tanetta
The economic and housing crises have greatly impacted young adults, with 37 percent of 18‐ to 29‐year‐olds unemployed or otherwise out of the workforce. Many college graduates have had to delay full independence by moving back into their parents’ homes, like Virginia Commonwealth University alumnus Andrew. HOME’s homeownership education and down payment assistance programs, however, have been able to help young people like Andrew achieve independence by becoming first‐time homebuyers.
In 2007, Andrew, a recent VCU graduate and Federal Reserve employee began searching online for a house of his own. After living under his parents’ roof for two years, Andrew was assured that he wanted to own, not rent his future residence. Though there were perks to his living situation – his mother’s delicious home cooking, for example – Andrew yearned for his own space.
Upon finding out about HOME, Andrew signed up for HOME’s homebuyer education program and, one month later, was invited to take two classes. In these classes, Andrew learned valuable homebuying information and tips, such as knowledge about the lending process and how to get a home inspected before purchase.
HOME was also able to provide Andrew with down payment assistance, helping him gain access to more housing opportunities. During his house hunt, Andrew had frequently found that houses within his price range were in less than ideal locations. But after qualifying for this assistance program, Andrew was able to explore homes in a variety of neighborhoods.
“I had more options to choose where I wanted to live,” Andrew said. “They really did open that door for me to make the choice when it comes to finding the right house for me.”
Six years later, Andrew is now a husband and a new father, and he and his family are still reaping the benefits of HOME’s assistance. Andrew and his wife, Tanetta, were married two years after Andrew bought his Church Hill home. The couple’s affordable mortgage and stress‐free housing stability has allowed them to focus their time and money on two major milestones: planning their wedding and the recent birth of their daughter, Nyjah.
Tanetta is able to work part‐time for Capital One and care of Nyjah, while Andrew works and studies to complete his master’s degree. Andrew says that the location of their home has been both money‐saving and convenient.
“We have everything we need within walking distance,” Andrew said. Settled in their Church Hill home, Andrew and Tanetta are able to save money on transportation to church, the pediatrician, grocery shopping, childcare and visits to friends. They have also become invested members of their community. Andrew and Tanetta are involved at their church, where the East End Fellowship has supported Tanetta as a new mother. They also participate in the Union Hill Civic Association and Tanetta volunteers at the Peter Paul Development Center’s after‐school program for at‐risk youth.
“We have good roots in this community,” Andrew told HOME. “If we were to move to another house, it would be within this community.”
“This is a really, really great place to live,” Tanetta added. “I feel that this home is perfect for us because it helps it helps us to stay within our means… and we’re comfortable. We know that we’re safe.”
Watch Andrew and Tanetta tell their story on HOME’s YouTube channel.
For more client stories, visit Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia’s YouTube channel.
Quotes: What People Are Saying About Us
“HOME was a blessing. I know I would not be in my house today without HOME.”
—Calvin & Precious
“I have attended several homeownership classes. Using combined information from them all, I worked for the past three to four years resolving my credit issues. Finally I returned to HOME with all issues addressed. HOME immediately put me in contact with the resources that I needed to finalize the process to purchase my first home. I found HOME to be very helpful, supportive and resourceful.”
“You have been the only person that has gone above and beyond trying to help me… and I mean that from the bottom on my heart.”
“Thank you so much for helping me with my foreclosure. I appreciate everything you have done for me.”
“I want to thank you for all you are doing for me …as a new [real estate] agent. [The information] you have given me has been most helpful and productive. You have been so efficient and helpful. You are the best.”
—Sheila Maclin, Realtor, Regal Realty
“Housing Opportunities Made Equal saved my home for me. A positive result was achieved within hours after my situation was presented to HOME. HOME’s expeditious actions got me a positive solution to stopping my home from being foreclosed. Praying and going to HOME is gave me the opportunity to keep my home.”
“We can’t thank you all enough for giving us the opportunity to purchase our home in Church Hill. We’ve had a very happy 5 years here. I can’t believe it’s been 5 years! You are a wonderful organization and we wish you the best of continued success in helping out the little man. Thank you, thank you.”
—Courtney & Rick
“If it weren't for [my HOME counselor] I would still be going through this - even the lawyer couldn't accomplish anything - it was like God sent an Angel to watch over me. If it wasn’t for HOME (and my counselor) I would still be fighting. If HOME had not stepped in, I would have foreclosed by now.”
“(The) structured support…from HOME is what’s needed to interrupt a four generation pattern of fiscal irresponsibility. It means everything to me that my daughters will be able to embark in the right direction before messing up too much. The work HOME does is not only crucial to individual and family units but also the real community formation as a whole. Burdened people can’t be the best partners, parents, workers or neighbors…I have new hope, new faith and new dreams.”
“Without HOME, I don’t know where I would have ended up…HOME stood behind me from day one!”
“HOME helped fulfill a dream I am king of the castle. I just don’t have the moat yet but I am working on it.”
“I learned more in the three hour homebuyer’s education class than any other class I have taken.”
“As a single parent on a fixed income, I wanted to purchase a home for my daughter and I. We had lived in our Richmond apartment for 13 years and now it was time for us to move. The make-up of the neighborhood was changing and I wanted more for my family. I had seen the benefits and opportunity HOME had to offer because my sister had used their services. I applied and was assigned a counselor who stayed with me till the end. HOME made it possible for me to get a brand new home built from the ground up which I presently live in today. I am so proud of my accomplishment and more importantly HOME. Without HOME’s assistance, I’m not sure if I would have a home today. I believe in what HOME stands for and most importantly how HOME wants to help their community. I’m living proof!”
“I just wanted to thank you for the help and service you provided to me, I know you were just doing your job but helping me and others in the process of purchasing a home when they might not have been able to otherwise is invaluable. You guide me every step of the way. I couldn’t have done it so smoothly without you. Again, thank you so much. I love my home. What you and HOME offer to the community is a valuable service.”
“HOME helped me save my house. I couldn’t think and my counselor was there as I had no other resource. HOME was my help. I followed through with my counselor. I would have been foreclosed. My HOME counselor was my resource.”
“I can say that I am thankful to HOME for counsel from the very start giving me a better understanding of financial needs and responsibilities concerning the purchase, upkeep, maintenance and protection of a home. (Because of HOME’s training) It was to a great degree that I obtained the best homeowners insurance which has and is taking great care of me.”
“I am extremely happy with homeownership education process, my housing education specialist and my home.”
“We never would have imagined we’d have a brand new home at such a young age.”
—Eric & Cristy