Navigating the housing world today is an undertaking. We’re here to help.
In this series, Dreams to Reality, we will hear from several Urban Edge clients who have experienced successes, whether that be in renting, buying, or affordably maintaining their homes. We’re so proud to have worked with these hardworking people, and we are thrilled to be part of the process of making their housing dreams a reality.
One of our services that we are most passionate about is providing families with the resources they need to purchase a home. As many of our clients will tell you, buying a home takes patience, resilience and determination. When the system is stacked against you, it’s hard to know where to start – and we’re here to make it a little easier.
Our first story comes from Wendy Mejia, a long time Boston resident and a first-time homeowner.
Wendy Mejia moved to Boston in 1998 and has been living here ever since. She has lived in her current apartment for 17 years. Last month, she purchased her first house.
Wendy’s homebuying process began with Urban Edge. In 2020, she took Urban Edge’s First Time Homebuyer course with Milagros Pascual. At first, she didn’t qualify to buy a home because of her income level. Then, the pandemic hit, and there was a pause in her home buying process.
The process was daunting and lengthy, but Wendy’s method was patience. She took Urban Edge’s first-time homebuyer course a second time and “waited patiently. Whatever assistance arrived, I took it. I filled out every application that came my way, and thank god I did!”
Many applications later, Wendy received a grant from Madison Park Development Corporation, funding from a savings escrow account through HUD’s Family Self Sufficiency Program, and a grant from the Bank of America.
The first offer Wendy placed on a house got accepted. The owner backed out at the last minute, but as Wendy would say, “everything happens for a reason”. Wendy and her partner went to several open houses and eventually found a beautiful house close to their jobs. Wendy knew it was the one. “There was something about that house. I knew this was my house, my kid’s house, my grandkids’ house.”
Their offer got accepted immediately.
To Wendy, the biggest challenge was navigating such a competitive housing market. Wendy found herself having to offer way over the asking price on houses that were already expensive. “At times, it felt like I couldn’t afford to be buying a house at all”.
To people working to buy a home, Wendy stresses the importance of budgeting. She remembers Milagros telling her to “cut out coupons! Do your own hair and nails! Skip the Dunkin run every morning!”
But most importantly, Wendy says to remember how many resources exist. “There are so many resources out there, and I didn’t know about them! You have to go out and look for them. There are people out there who will help you. Just ask!”
By using the resources at her disposal, taking every opportunity that came her way, and remaining patient and determined, Wendy was able to put 20% down and purchase her first ever home.
“It was really exciting because my dream finally came true. I never dreamed of buying a new car or new things – I dreamed of a house. And that came true!”