Montana Homeownership Network's
2,500th Homeowner Celebration

[Photo: Choc family in front of their new home]
(l-r) Adrian, Pamela, Parker and Jared Choc at their new home

At a celebration held at the Rotunda of the Capitol in Helena, Montana, the Montana Homeownership Network was recognized for their successful statewide homebuyer education and home counseling programs, as were the 2,500th recipients of their efforts, Jared and Pamela Choc. Following an address by Lt. Governor John Bohlinger, who spoke on "What Homeownership Means to Montana", Pamela Choc addressed the audience on "What Our Home Means to Us". Here are some of her remarks about buying their first home.

"Buying our first house has been an empowering experience. We are so grateful to be able to plant some roots and make a real investment in our future. The steps we have taken have been full of bumps, unexpected twists, and unforgettable experiences.

Our first apartment, about 500 square feet was adequate. We were active college students at the University of Montana, and spent little time at home. A little later, we moved to a slightly larger apartment located outside the city limits. Our first child was born and we needed more room.

After college, we move from the Rocky Mountain area and lived in a small town in Washington State about 1400 people. Finding a place to rent was not easy. But, we were lucky - found a little old house right on Main Street, about 100 feet from the railroad tracks. Trains rolled through about every hour, sometimes loud enough to stop your conversation. Our landlord told us that we had too much "stuff" in the house (we had a baby with all the appropriate gear), and we didn't have much privacy, they insisted on "inspections" every now and then. We thought we would improve the property by planting a garden and re-seeding the yard, but the landlord didn't like that, and they dug up the grass we planted. One cold winter evening, we smelled gas. The power company was called and they condemned our furnace. The landlord insisted the furnace was fine, and for three weeks we had no heat. Finally our landlord ordered a new furnace, "just to make us happy." With a one-year-old, and another baby on the way, we set out looking for another place to live. We found a very nice house to rent, and moved in a couple of days before Christmas.

Shortly after our daughter was born we found a job in Helena, time to move again. But, we jumped at the opportunity despite a significant pay cut and higher rent. We had saved since high school for a down payment, and after eight months of renting in Helena, we found a house that fit our needs. After living in five houses in six years, we were ready and are now happy to be living in our own home. We no longer rely on a landlord for heat, and we no longer worry about lack of privacy or control. We take great pride in our house and in all of the steps we have gone through to reach this point. We are truly grateful to everyone who helped us through the process."

Jared and Pamela attended the Helena Greater 8 First Time Homebuyers Workshop, participating in nine sessions about buying and owning a home. They qualified for a loan through the Montana Board of Housing that includes an FHA insured loan. Closing cost assistance was received from Neighborhood Housing Services of Great Falls, MT.

Montana Homeownership Network (


Content Archived: April 12, 2011