National Homeownership Month was special for at least one Maine family this year. Jodi Jewell and her son, Jordan, moved into their own home in Casco, thanks to state and federal initiatives that provide homebuyer education, low interest rate loans, and special downpayment assistance.
Maine Field Office Director William Burney (second row, center) joined local housing partners to welcome Ms. Jewell and her son to their new home.
"This is a dream come true," Jewell said. I wanted to buy a home for us, but never thought I could find a way to do it."
Jewell used a combination of programs to make ownership of her home on the Quaker Ridge Road possible. HUD provided her assistance through the American Dream Downpayment Initiative, which helps first-time low- and moderate-income homebuyers with the largest hurdle of homeownership-downpayment and closing costs.
She combined the Dream Downpayment Initiative with a loan obtained through Rural Development Housing Program's Section 502 Direct Program, which helps low-income rural Maine residents obtain the dream of homeownership.
"Many families are able to make monthly mortgage payments, but are not able to save enough for closing costs," said William Burney, HUD's Maine Field Office Director. "With a little assistance, buying a home may be much easier than people think."
With assistance, Jewell made needed upgrades to the home that included replacing floors, remodeling, installing a radon system, and making structural improvements to the garage.
"Now I am living in a rural area, which I love, and the payments for my mortgage, taxes, and insurance combined are $200 a month less than the amount I was paying for rent," she said.
"The best thing about having a house is I can have a lot of pets, and there are good neighbors next door," added son Jordan.