When something seems too good to be true, sometimes it turns out even better than you could imagine. This is the lesson Miles and Ashley, a young Nampa couple, have learned over the past two years as they have overcome health scares and are now embarking on the journey toward homeownership with the help of NeighborWorks Boise (NWB) and Hayden Homes’ nonprofit, First Story.
Like many couples, Miles and Ashley met and began planning for their future together. Ashley started going to nursing school and Miles was working hard to help support her. But their dreams were suddenly interrupted when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. Determined to beat the illness, Ashley quit work and school and focused on chemotherapy while Miles continued to pay the bills and be there to comfort her.
After nearly 7 months of treatments, Ashley was deemed cancer-free. But a few months later, the nausea and weakness returned, symptoms she had experienced with the cancer. At her appointment, the doctor confirmed something that seemed too good to be true – Ashley was going to have a baby! The couple was elated because medical experts had told her she would not be able to have kids. This was their miracle baby!
Baby Mason was born perfectly healthy and Ashley remains cancer-free. With a new baby, the couple’s little apartment seemed even smaller, and that’s when a family member referred them to NWB to talk about the possibility of buying a home. In April, they began attending NWB’s free one-on-one pre-purchase counseling sessions with our Housing Counselor, who worked with them on budgeting, credit management issues and helped them figure out a plan for paying off their medical bills.
That’s when Miles and Ashley received a housing offer that seemed way too good to be true. NWB’s Director of Homeownership Programs told them that Hayden Homes – a new partner of NWB – was giving them the opportunity to buy a brand new, 3-bedroom home in Nampa with a 30-year, no interest loan and with no down payment. Buying this home – three times the size of their apartment – would be nearly $250 cheaper than what they were paying in rent!
Hayden Homes, a home builder founded in Redmond, Oregon started a non-profit named First Story, which creates partnerships that provide opportunities for qualified individuals and families in need of affordable housing in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. First Story offered NWB clients this homeownership opportunity who met the criteria of being mortgage -ready families, at or below 80% of Area Median Income, and already residents of Nampa. Out of three possible candidates, Miles and Ashley jumped at the chance to own a brand new home.
“We drove around the neighborhood [where the home would be built] and said, ‘This is amazing!’” Miles stated. “The location is easy to get to work, school, shopping and downtown.”
The home is a ranch-style design with a fully landscaped yard, including automatic sprinklers and a fence. It also comes with a refrigerator, microwave, and range/oven, with color selections of paint and appliances per the couple’s preferences.
“YouTube and HGTV are my new best friends,” claimed an excited Miles as he prepares to become a first time homebuyer.
Miles and Ashley attended NWB’s Homebuyer Education seminar in November – a program designed to give first-time homebuyers an overview of the homeownership process, including challenges to expect, shopping for a home with a Realtor, choosing a mortgage, necessary insurance, anticipated maintenance, closing procedures, and life as a homeowner.
“Homebuyer Ed was an eye opening experience,” indicated the couple. “There were some things we knew and some we didn’t. Some things we didn’t know were the importance of inspections, and the many options of homeowners insurance. We are glad we took the class.”
Hayden Homes also held a wall-raising celebration for Miles and Ashley in November, a barbeque luncheon event at the home site where the couple got to be a part of the first stages of the building process. Builders, contractors, NWB staff, and even Hayden Watson – the founder of First Story – came to share in the ceremony.
“First Story believes that the most important thing is families,” said Watson.
What a great example of love and support that this young family has already demonstrated toward each other! NeighborWorks Boise is grateful to be a part of such a wonderful opportunity to partner with an amazing organization like First Story and give this deserving family a chance to be homeowners.
Miles and Ashley’s home has an estimated completion date of early March 2016, and NWB cannot wait to join them at the dedication ceremony where they will receive the keys to their very first home – an unbelievable event in their lives that will soon be a reality.
Look for the conclusion of Miles and Ashley’s First Story homeownership experience in the months to come in NWB’s newsletter and on our blog.
For more information about NeighborWorks Boise’s Homebuyer Education seminars, go to our website or call 258-6225.