My Home Story: A Home That’s Worth the Hassle
June is American Housing Month, and to celebrate we’re featuring your stories on renting, buying, or refinancing your home. If you’d like to participate, tweet us a short story and a photo of your home by using the #TheHomeStoryAHM hashtag.
Tom and Heidi Roemmele fell in love with the first house they looked at, a nice home on a quiet street in West Boylston, MA.
Their real estate agent, Vanessa Epro, from Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Leominster, recommended they contact Jacqui Keogh, a vice president and senior loan officer at Salem Five Mortgage, after the Roemmeles had a bad experience with another lender.
Keogh, in turn, recommended a MassHousing Mortgage, and soon they were moving quickly through the process. State housing finance agencies (HFAs) like MassHousing and local HFAs (which you can find with an Internet search for your area) may be a great resource for homebuyer education and down payment assistance.
“Jacqui was very straightforward, and she got the process started,” says Tom Roemmele. “There was great communication between Jacqui and Vanessa. The loan process was fairly simple.”
But just before the loan’s closing, a significant snag emerged. The home had a Massachusetts affordable housing deed rider (it had been built under Chapter 40B, the state’s affordable housing law). Even though the Roemmeles qualified to buy the home with the rider, there would be some delay in getting them approved.
To make matters worse, the lease on the Roemmeles’ apartment was due to expire, and they were worried they would have to find another apartment to rent until they could close on their new house.
“We have three young children so you can imagine that it was very stressful,” says Roemmele.
But Keogh and Epro knew they could count on MassHousing to help resolve the late-breaking complication. MassHousing worked directly with the state Department of Housing and Community Development and Fannie Mae, the publisher of The Home Story, to get the deed rider approved. The Roemmeles were able to close on their home just a few days later than originally planned.
“We’re very thankful that the right people got involved in this and that they cared so much about a single loan,” says Roemmele. “Everyone was fantastic. It went far beyond the normal home-buying process.”
Now the family is enjoying their home, and the couple’s children could not be happier.
“They love it,” Roemmele says. “We were able to get a cat because we are out of the apartment, and they are just loving it. They love the schools, and they can ride their bikes on the street because we live in a quiet neighborhood. We are all very happy to be in our own house.”
Photo: Mike Ritter, Ritterbin Photography