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By Ashleigh, K-Staff
The Kirtland Federal Credit Union down-payment assistance program, Jump Start, is off to a roaring start since its inception in 2019, and one local family can testify to its value in the pursuit of home ownership.
Jump Start down payment assistance is Kirtland FCU’s one-of-a-kind way to help members meet their down payment requirement on their first home. Since 2019, the program has provided more than $45,000 in grants to homebuyers.
One of those homebuyers, Benedict and Theresa Fawver, credit Jump Start with helping them reach their goal of home ownership so quickly.
Down payments on a new home average 12% of the purchase price, according to the National Association of Realtors. For first-time homebuyers, that average is 3-7%—still a hefty amount considering the high price of real estate right now. For a $200,000 home, a 3% down payment is $6,000: cash that needs to be turned over to the lender at the time of purchase. Considering the average savings of Americans, this is not an insignificant amount and can be a big barrier to home ownership.
For Benedict and his wife Theresa, each 25 years old, and their infant daughter Sophia, homeownership has been a big boon. We caught up with the family to ask them about their journey to homeownership.
Q: We know purchasing a home is the culmination of years of planning, dreaming, and work. Tell us about your journey to homeownership.
A: We started thinking about buying a house shortly after we got married two years ago, but we didn’t have the money saved up yet as Benedict had just graduated from college. We rented an apartment and then a house, and while they were nice, we never quite felt at home. The owners of the house we were renting decided to sell, and we decided it might be a good time to start looking into buying a house. We discovered the Jump Start program shortly after and realized it would be a great fit for our situation. House-hunting ended up being a bit challenging as we were in the process of looking for a house when the Covid-19 restrictions started to be put into place. Luckily, all parties involved were still able to work with us and help us to find and close on a home without too much delay.
Q: Tell us about your new home!
A: Our new home is a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home built in 1959 but remodeled in the last year or two. The recent remodel was done well, and the entire house has nice upgrades and new appliances. The kitchen was a big selling point for us as it has high quality appliances and quartz countertops. Another major selling point is the yard that has nice grass and a patio for grilling and enjoying the outdoor.
Q: How has your life changed now that you’re a homeowner?
A: Owning a home has given us a better sense of belonging; our new house feels more like home than any places we have rented in the past. There is also a pride in ownership that makes us want to keep the property in good condition and upgrade things we may not be completely happy with. Our quality of life has improved and one reason for that is Benedict has a much shorter commute to work. Other quality-of-life improvements include a more functional yard for Sophia to play in and having a spare room to use as an office.
Q: Describe your Kirtland FCU experience.
A: We worked with Teresa Quintela. She was very helpful and upfront about the whole process and how we could get the best interest rate. We would recommend Kirtland FCU to friends and family. The representatives are so helpful and everyone is willing to work with you to achieve the best outcome.
Have you been thinking about purchasing your first home (or your first home in a long time)? The Jump Start down payment assistance program could help you next! Providing a grant up to $6,000, Jump Start is helping families who have never owned a home or who haven’t owned a home in the last four years achieve homeownership.
Kirtland FCU is proud to be Albuquerque’s premier home loan lender. If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a new home, give us a call at 1-800-880-5328 to make an appointment, or apply day or night online at Kirtland FCU Mortgage Application. We’re open! We’re here.
Let’s get moving!
An equal housing lender. Financing available for properties in New Mexico only. Loan subject to credit approval. Income limits and restrictions apply. Maximum assistance will be up to 3% of the purchase price or a maximum of $6,000 with a maximum loan amount not to exceed $200,000. Loans with Jump Start assistance will require Private Mortgage Insurance. Borrowers will be required to complete a homebuyer education course. At least one borrower cannot have owned a home in the past three (3) years to be eligible for Jump Start assistance. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Program may be cancelled or suspended at any time without notice. Membership eligibility required. See a representative for complete details.