Welcome home, Joanne!
Joanne Moynihan saw the “Own Here Cheaper Than Renting” sign and slammed on her brakes. Now she calls that sign a lifesaver.
She needed to move out of her rental apartment because it was just too expensive. She had a good, steady job waiting tables, but feeling like she worked all the time just to pay the rent was stressful. When she started looking at other rentals, she met many mean-spirited landlords.
“I didn’t want to be in that situation again, with some landlord telling me what I could and couldn’t do,” Joanne said.
The sign in front of the Exeter-Hampton Cooperative brought her into the resident-owned manufactured-home community for the first time, and she found a great small house for sale. It had new windows, kitchen, appliances, and flooring, and had obviously been well taken care of by its last owner.
People at the cooperative gave Joanne information about Welcome Home Loans, the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund’s real mortgage loans for manufactured homes. She had declared bankruptcy in 2008, so she knew other lenders would not finance her.
The Community Loan Fund saw the strength in Joanne’s application, her steady work history and the steps she’d taken to recover from the bankruptcy. “The Community Loan Fund gave me hope that I could put that behind me and own my own home for the first time,” she said.
“Buying a new home can be grueling, with lots of footwork and paperwork, but the Community Loan Fund helped me every step of the way. When things got complicated, my loan officer, Ron Thompson, would say, ‘Here’s what you can do next and here’s what you can do next,’ ” Joanne said.
“I feel such pride that I managed to do this. The stress has just left me. I feel a true sense of freedom.”
Joanne closed on her new home and moved in January 30. Her house payments now are $500 a month less than what she paid to rent her last apartment.
Joanne was quickly introduced to the neighborly spirit at the Exeter-Hampton Cooperative. When her pipes briefly froze during a cold snap two weeks after she moved in, neighbors showed up with advice and help. A man a couple doors down brought his snow blower and cleared a path to the water main. Another neighbor lent a heater.
“I used to live in a condo where no one helped anyone with anything,” she said. “Here, I feel like I’m in a group of people who all lend a hand.”
The Welcome Home Loan team is especially proud of Joanne not only because of all she accomplished, but also because she’s the 1,000th homeowner we have helped with a mortgage loan. Every home buyer has a unique story, but all share the pride and freedom of owning their own homes.
Jennifer Hopkins is the Single-Family Housing Program Manager at the Community Loan Fund.
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