17 Nov Schoolteacher Becomes Proud Homeowner Through ACA Program
Jeremy Reynoso, 27, was renting out a basement in Salt Lake City when he realized that it was really time for him to look into buying a home. He was tired of seeing his money lost to rent each month, and since he had recently started working as a kindergarten teacher at Meadowlark Elementary, he figured it would be good to become a part of the community and have the stability that comes with homeownership.
The last time he had looked into buying a home, he was discouraged after realizing that not only did he not have the necessary down payment or credit score for a mortgage loan, but that he also felt lost and overwhelmed by the entire buying process. He knew he would really need some help to do it right this time, but wasn’t sure exactly where to turn for advice. Remembering a building on 1700 South that said something about nonprofit mortgage lending, he decided to stop by and see if someone could help. The staff at Community Development Corporation of Utah was happy to sign him up for the next Home Buyer Education class.
“I remember being really glad I took the class first before buying my home,” Jeremy recalls. “Before taking the class, I had no idea how I was supposed to look at any of the houses on the market. I felt out of my comfort zone, and I didn’t like that feeling of not knowing what I was talking about. This class really helped me with that.” After learning about mortgages, the home buying process, preapproval, and “how much home” he could realistically afford, Jeremy was more educated and prepared to begin looking for a home.
Jeremy worked with CDCU’s realtor, Carol, to narrow down some areas of Salt Lake City he was hoping to move into. After about a month of looking at multiple homes on the market, an Asset Control Area (ACA) listing appeared. ACA homes are foreclosed homes that are purchased from HUD and then completely refurbished, and for the first week upon being listed, they are available for bidding exclusively to teachers, firefighters, police officers, and EMTs. This was a perfect opportunity for someone like Jeremy, a school teacher, to live close to the community where he works every day.
After submitting his bid, Carol coordinated his mortgage loan and his mortgage insurance. Jeremy and Giovanna ended up closing on the home, and officially became the first people in both of their families to become homeowners in the United States.
Jeremy credits CDCU with guiding him and his wife to this incredible accomplishment and they are currently enjoying the freedom that comes with homeownership: “Now I can see the sunlight in the middle of winter—in my basement apartment, I couldn’t do that.” He continues “It’s a huge boost of morale, owning your own home. I feel like part of the community, and I feel encouraged to actually connect with my community and my neighbors.” They also enjoy taking care of their new yard, growing roses and tomatoes, and they’ve even added a new member to the family: their dog Mochi!
To those currently renting and thinking about buying a home, he recommends really giving it a try, since with his current mortgage, he’s paying almost exactly the same per month as when he was renting, only now he and Giovanna are building their wealth and preparing for the future.