Achieving the dream of homeownership is not a sprint for most first-time homebuyers. It is a journey that requires good planning and strong determination.
Help from their friends, family, realtor, mortgage lender and even community organizations also goes a long way, especially in today’s market.
Recently, WSFS Mortgage Customers have leaned on a couple of first-time homebuyer programs and additional resources to get the funds they need for down payment and closing cost assistance to buy their first homes.
“My favorite part of MY home is the foyer,” says Courtney Durham, who recently purchased her first home in Marcus Hook, Pa. using WSFS Bank’s Neighborhood Opportunity Program. “I love how I can see all the way into the dining room from the front door.”
Courtney was referred to Helen Dwyer, Mortgage Loan Officer for WSFS Mortgage, by the Chester Community Improvement Project’s first-time homebuyer program.
“Partnerships among community organizations, lenders and realtors is crucial for helping buyers gain access to the funds they need to become homeowners,” says Helen. “It was so exciting and satisfying to see the smile on Courtney’s face when she was handed the key to her first home. I encourage all potential homebuyers to really dig into the details with your mortgage lender and realtor, lean on their expertise to help find the additional resources and funds that may be available.”
Adds Courtney, “My advice to first-time buyers is to trust the process. Go through a first-time homebuyer program to learn as much as you can and ask questions!”
Nick Velecico, CRA Mortgage Loan Officer for WSFS Mortgage, recently worked with two Customers who not only leveraged WSFS’ programs, but also used programs outside the bank to “stack” multiple sources of funding assistance.
Noemi Motta, who recently closed a new home in Philadelphia, obtained a $10,000 grant from WSFS’ Down Payment Grant Program working closely with Nick. She then added an additional $34,000 in down payments using other programs available in her community!
Another Customer of Nick’s, Yvonne Justice, also stacked funds and was able to bring $35,000 to closing, including $10,000 from WSFS, with no cash out-of-pocket for her Philadelphia home.
“Both of these Customers’ success can be attributed to doing the research necessary to find money that you might not otherwise know is available to you,” says Nick. “That research includes finding a lending partner who has your best interests in mind. If you aren’t sure where to start or what questions to ask, go to organizations like the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency or a similar organization in your area. They have great programs to get you started and can recommend lenders and realtors who know the neighborhood and community where you are looking to buy.”
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