Partnership in Action: Working Toward a Down Payment
As an unemployed mother of a newborn boy, Dana realized that she needed help, and that all started with finding a place to live. She and her son moved back in with her parents as Dana looked for work. It was then that she developed a newfound resolve to become an independent homeowner.
“One day I just had this epiphany, like, ‘It is time,’” says Dana.
Over the next 12 years, Dana earned her master’s degree and became a speech language pathologist while working and raising a son. She also reached her goal to save enough money to buy a home.
But saving this money was just the first step. One crucial phase in the home buying process is figuring out how much to put down, a decision Dana found to be confusing. Lenders sometimes will ask borrowers to put down as much as 20 percent of the home’s value as a down payment. You can pay a smaller percentage, but then you will also have to pay private mortgage insurance, or PMI, which tacks on extra fees. So a friend of Dana’s put her in touch with Terri Santiago-Parker, a branch manager at Annie Mac Home Mortgage.
“When Dana came in, she was nervous about [the] down payment,” says Santiago-Parker, “and if she was actually able to afford it.”
Through Santiago-Parker’s help, Dana was eventually able to secure the right mortgage with a lower down payment. She and her son now live in their own home in the Philadelphia area. She credits the help and counseling she received throughout her loan-shopping process with guiding her to the mortgage and home that were right for her.
“You need a good support team,” says Dana. “And with their support, it really can work out.”
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