Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Home for the Holidays

By Sonja Kalyani,
Homewise Marketing Associate
This Thanksgiving, Marvin, Sheila and their two children will be feasting with family and friends in a new home that Marvin built with his own hands.  Natalia, eight, and Diego, four, sit quietly munching on giant chocolate chip cookies as their parents explain why they purchased their new house through Homewise, a NeighborWorks member organization in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Marvin has worked for Platinum Sky Construction for three years, and he helped frame the homes at Rincon del Sol, the Homewise subdivision in Tierra Contenta on the southside of Santa Fe, where the family is now settling in. “It’s the materials,” Marvin explains, when asked why they only looked at Homewise Homes™. “And, how well they’re built.” After all, when you’re part of the crew that builds a home, you know where the weaknesses are — or, in this case, where they aren’t.

Marvin first heard about Homewise through his employer, and the family has been so pleased with the support they received that they’ve recommended it to their friends.

“You [Homewise] take people by the hand to understand what a home purchase involves, what a closing is, what we need to do to achieve the steps to buy the house,” says Sheila. For them, this meant attending the Home Buyer Education class, saving money, and working on their credit over the course of a year and a half.

Marvin, Sheila, Natalia and Diego outside their new home
Their relaxed demeanor and smiles confirm they’re happy with their purchase decision. “Once we were ready, it happened quickly. From the time we decided on the home we wanted to purchase to the closing date was two to three weeks. Everything was explained so well and it all went smoothly.”

Prior to moving in, Marvin and Sheila lived with their family in a mobile home, but, surprisingly, the extra space isn’t the first thing they mention when asked about what they like about their new home. Instead, they mention the energy efficiency. In fact, Sheila lights up as she talks. “We turn on the tap and the water is already warm. We don’t have to let it run to heat up. We’re saving so much water.” Since Marvin is the primary breadwinner, seeing their water bill drop by $30 a month is no small thing for this family.

All in all, their new home is working out well for them. The extra space, additional income and pride of ownership are sure to make this a special holiday season.