We had the pleasure of talking with Doris Green, a new homeowner that participated in our First Time Homebuyer Workshop in March. Her journey towards homeownership began in 2008 with a one-on-one homebuyer session. Three days before closing on her house, the deal fell through because of something negative on her credit report. By continuing to chip away at her debt, handling obstacles head-on, and setting homeownership as a primary goal, she was able to achieve homeownership. Doris closed on her house June 27th, 2014 at 10 a.m., and was moved in by 1 p.m., that same day.
How did you hear about CCCS?
Years ago me and my now ex-husband were trying to get our finances together. I went through a one-on-one homebuyer session in 2008, when I was trying to buy a house, but that deal fell through because of something on my credit report that came up three or four days before closing. It was during the time when everything got really different and things began changing with the requirements to buy a home. I decided to get all of my stuff together and take care of the problem on my credit report; it was an IRS debt. So it took me time to get that off and squared away.
When did you first know that you wanted to become a homeowner?
I knew in February of this year. I called you guys to see if you had a homebuyer workshop available, but there wasn’t one until March 22nd, so I signed up for that class and that was when I was ready.
Did you have a house picked out already or were you going to gain more information about the home buying process?
I didn’t have a house picked out; I just remembered the information I received from the gentleman that I talked with one-on-one back in 2008. Even though that deal fell through, I saved everything we talked about and when I was ready, I went back over everything.
What was your biggest takeaway from the homebuyer workshop?
The information that I gained took the fear away. Buying a house is intimidating and you don’t feel adequate; but when you are given all of that knowledge about the whole process, you realize that you are the consumer, you are the buyer and that you don’t have to feel pressured to do something. You can say no. Knowing that you’re in control of the situation and gaining all of that knowledge was so beneficial.
What difference did the homebuyer workshop make in your life?
I was telling everybody about it. I tried to encourage a lot of my girlfriends and couples to attend the workshop. I’ve told them it would take the fear out and make you face your debts. When you really get on board with this and know what you have to do, you’re going to pay close attention to little things. I would ask people “how bad do you want it?”, because you’re going to have to do whatever it takes.
When you closed on your house on June 27th at 10 a.m., how were you feeling?
Like I was going to pass out! I couldn’t sleep the night before; I was so full and excited. While I was at the closing, I actually had family members and friends loading up the truck, and by 1 p.m. I moved in. I did my last walkthrough of my house and measured areas so I knew exactly where everything was going to go. When we finished everything, pizza, hot wings, and drinks were on me.
Buying a home is a big process, what was the biggest obstacle for you?
I’m pretty disciplined, but it made me question everything I purchased. I wouldn’t stand in line and buy a Snickers and water because I have a bottle of water at home. Everything became about “where is this money going?” and why it’s important. I had to tell my kids that we were on a mission and this is why we might not be able to do this or that. We skipped a family trip last year, but I knew what I wanted to do. I knew that I was going to bid lower than a lot of people would on the house, but I would offer to pay for the closing. So I kept that in mind and made sure I had money set aside for that. When my kids would ask why we couldn’t go on a trip, I told them our trip was going home, that we are trying to go from renter to homeowner.
Were your kids excited about moving into a new house?
They were excited about having their own rooms. They went from a 6-year-old and 17-year-old sharing a room, to having their own. My 6-year-old wants the Avengers and Incredible Hulk in his room, but my 17-year-old is still feeling it out.
Now that you have your house, what are some of your new financial goals?
I want to build my savings back up to where I am very comfortable and still try to be frugal and pay attention to additional warranties for the house. I want to just be wise about things that I purchase.
What advice would you give future home buyers?
Don’t ever, ever give up. The home buying process can be intimidating and scary. A lot of us weren’t educated about our bills and responsibilities when we were younger, which makes it scary, especially if you’re in debt. But if you chip at that lowest bill first, pay that off, take the amount used to pay that bill and add it to the next one, you will get there. Every time you come to an obstacle, know you can do it. Hit obstacles head-on, do your best, climb that mountain, and you’ll soon have your home.
Is it your year to buy a home? Don’t miss out on our next Home Buyer Workshop. Call (912) 691-2227 to claim your seat.