First Time, Any Time

Photo 1: New homeowner and her dog.
Photo courtesy of The Idaho Statesman.

Over the last 12 months, a record 13,237 Idaho families bought homes worth a total of almost $2.1 billion using mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

More than half were first-time homebuyers making a smart choice to use FHA products because of FHA's low and easier-to-assemble down payment requirements, flexible underwriting and state-of-the-industry protections against foreclosure.

When you hear about how great FHA mortgages are for "first time buyers," you probably picture a young couple, just married and wanting to start a family in a place they call their own.

But think again and consider the tale, told in The Idaho Statesman, of Elizabeth and Charles Malone. He's 66 and she - well, frankly it's none of your business. They'd never owned a home and, now retired and on a fixed income, never thought they would.

Until they moved earlier this year from Sacramento to Boise where their son lives. When Elizabeth had last traveled to visit their son in Boise, "when it was time to leave," she said, "I just cried."

Her son may also be the "hero" in the piece because, even though unemployed, he offered to help his parents with a down payment. Thanks to his help, their good credit, the Idaho Housing Finance Association's Good Credit Rewards program and help with down payment and closing costs and, last but not least, an FHA-insured mortgage, by late September they'd bought and moved into a $65,000, 2-bedroom home on Beech Street in Caldwell. Their mortgage payment is about $500, considerably less than what they were paying for rent.

"I'm awed," Mrs. Malone told The Statesman, "I didn't ever imagine I would have a home." She's so awed, in fact, that one of the first things she did after getting settled was to hold an open house to "get to know the neighbors."

Obviously, the Malones already are fitting in. To quote their REALTOR, "the deal is, don't lose faith!"


Content Archived: September 9, 2011