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Mar 19

Spotlight on the HOME Program

Posted on March 19, 2014 at 10:40 am by Dawn Corrigan

The City of Pensacola’s HOME Program encourages home ownership by assisting qualified first-time home buyers with down payments and closing costs. In December 2013, Pensacola native Melanie Johnson was able to purchase a newly constructed house with the help of HOME funds. After closing, Ms. Johnson shared her experience.

How did you find out about the HOME Program?

On the internet, I researched several different programs and found that the HOME program had a lot to offer a first-time homebuyer. I called the Pensacola Housing Office and started the process.

Johnson home 1

How was the overall HOME process?
It was easy! I spoke with the program manager and we made an appointment. At the appointment we reviewed my paperwork and it was determined that I met all the eligibility requirements. I was provided a participating Lender list and was able to select a lender that fit my needs. My lender was able to set me up with a realtor and my search began. After looking at several existing homes, I realized that as a single, working mother the updating and maintenance would be an issue for me. Since new construction is allowable under HOME, my realtor suggested looking at lots and was able to find a builder who could build a home within my budget.

What motivated you to purchase/build within the city limits?
Besides growing up in the area, I wanted a location that was convenient to my job and my kids’ schools. My home is central to many conveniences, which saves me time and money.

Would you recommend purchasing in the city limits?
Yes. I have the benefits of all the parks in my area, and I’m convenient to many shops and places to eat. The services are better – garbage, recycle, fire, police, etc… I feel very safe in my neighborhood and have not had any safety issues.

Would you have been able to purchase your home without HOME funds?
No. Having this money to assist in the purchase of my home enabled me to provide my children a safe place to live. Without it, I would not have been able to achieve home ownership at this point in my life.

How long did it take you to achieve home ownership with the HOME Program?
From beginning to end, a little less than a year. I thought that was pretty good, considering my home was new construction. I am very thankful for the opportunity to have participated in this program. My children and I are happy in our new home.

Click
 here for more information on the first-time homebuyers programs available through Pensacola Housing.