Most Americans consider home ownership to be the single best long-term investment. Primary residence was the largest asset among households of all age groups in 2019. Many homeowners rely on their own capital to fund retirement, education for their children, and other important needs.
However, a home is much more than an investment. In times good and bad, being able to own a home has been a cherished ideal and a source of pride, achievement, social stability, and peace of mind.
At Housing and Utilities, we promote this idea all year round, but as part of National Home Ownership Month, we want to highlight some of our programs that help Charlotte women fulfill their dream of buying their own home.
HouseCharlotte and Community Heroes help programs
HouseCharlotte offers loan deferral and forgiven options for families with incomes below 80% of the regional median income. These funds can be used to cover the down payment, closing costs and interest rate foreclosures.
Aamar Malik, his wife and three children moved into their four-bedroom home on Statesville Avenue after receiving a down payment aid through HouseCharlotte in June 2019. Buying his house was a dream for Malik and another rung on the economic ladder. “I lived here (in Charlotte) for four years, spending $ 1,200 a month on rent, and if you count, I was spending almost $ 60,000 a year,” said Aamar Malik. As a homeowner, buying allows him to have an investment that he can use to move his family up the economic ladder. “This is the first step for me,” he said. “This will probably allow me to save more money on buying a house in the future.”
Qualified law enforcement officers, charter and public school staff up to grade 12, paraprofessionals, firefighters, ambulance technicians, medical professionals and other important workers are also eligible for assistance with a down payment through the HouseCharlotte and Community Heroes programs.
Find out more about these
The city offers several
housing counseling servicesincluding financial literacy, pre-ownership counseling and foreclosure prevention.
Topics covered by these classes include budgeting, credit repair, mortgage approval, help finding a home, and assistance in negotiating mortgage terms, purchase price, and the mortgage closing process.
Prior to buying a house in 2019, Alice G. attended three consultations on home ownership issues. She is incredibly grateful for the information she received about the entire home buying process, from pre-approval to what to do after she bought her home.
Previously, her family lived in apartment buildings that were not always accessible or easy to move for her disabled daughter. She and her husband now own their own ranch-style home and can have wider doors and special lighting to suit their daughter’s needs.
“Being able to own your own home is life-changing,” said Alice. “Before, when we lived in apartments, the doors were not wide enough, there were stairs that you could climb. We now have room for [our daughter] to be able to grow. Also, now that we have an eight month old son, we have the wealth of generations and what belongs [to us] and can stay in our family. “
“Our mortgage is only $ 100 more than what we paid in our apartment. $ 100 more and we have our own house, ”continued Alice. “It’s a big responsibility when you have a home. However, the equality and wealth of generations are worth it. “