Herimar RiveraFor more than four years, Herimar had thoughts of owning a home. However, before exploring this opportunity, she needed to conquer the fear of living on her own and the doubt that someone like her, a young, single mother, could accomplish this milestone. After receiving her LPN from Eastern University and learning about the new Philly First Home Grant, she felt homeownership was a venture worth exploring.

After attending AHCOPA’s workshop and counseling session, she admits feeling more prepared for the homeownership process as the staff gave her the confidence that this could be achieved. The process did require lots of patience. She looked at 30 houses and made offers on five properties, which were rejected due to competing offers from other buyers. The sixth house that she made an offer on was accepted!

When she was under contract, AHCOPA assisted her in obtaining the new Philly First Home Grant, which awarded her the funds to close on the home. There is no doubt in her mind, without the new Philly First Home Grant, homeownership would have been a more arduous, nearly impossible accomplishment. Thanks to the grant, she did not need to work ungodly amounts of overtime and be absent from her children in order to save the necessary money for the down payment and closing costs.

For Herimar and her boys, a new journey begins. Being in their own place, they are thrilled to have the freedom to establish their own traditions and memories. Congratulations Herimar and godspeed!

Affordable Housing Center of Pennsylvania

To have clients such as Reginald and Louise Bundy enroll in the AHCOPA First Time Homebuyer Program was a unique experience. Rarely do we experience senior citizen clients looking to purchase a new house. However, their request for counseling was to obtain one of the Ingersoll Commons properties located near 16th and Master in North Philadelphia. This house is an upgrade in comparison to their nearby row house and supports their ability to age in a place which includes a handicap ramp to enter the house, wide doors and an elevator.

When the Bundy’s began counseling, their major concern was whether their credit status would allow them to qualify for financing. After working with the counselors at AHCOPA, they felt comfortable and empowered. The counselors showed them how the credit system works and what they needed to do to qualify for a mortgage. Their counselor checked their credit standing and noticed missed payments were being reported on their car loan. The Bundy’s were adamant that no payments were missed. The counselor showed them how to dispute the error and helped draft a letter to the credit bureaus. Three months later, the error was corrected and Reggie’s median credit score increased by 50 points. This small correction meant that they could qualify for mortgage financing.

Their dream of purchasing one of the Ingersoll Commons units became more attainable. They imagined how the house would be furnished. In order to afford the property they made some adjustments and sacrifices to their budget. They agreed to let go of one of their cars to save on the cost of gas and insurance. A new house with all of their desired amenities was too good to pass up.

Now the fruit of their diligence and persistence is being realized. Purchasing the house has completely changed their lives. Following the settlement of the house, the Bundy’s slept better than they had in years. Congratulations to Reggie and Louise. Welcome home!