Making News

Home at last: one teacher’s journey to homeownership

Growing up as a military brat, Melody was used to moving around a lot. But the small community of Havre in North Central Montana remained one of her favorites – a place she hoped to return to one day. After earning a degree in education at the University of Montana Western in Dillon, she got a job teaching back in Havre. A few years into her new career, Melody wanted to buy a home, but like many Montanans, she struggled to come up with a down payment. Here’s the story of how HomeNow helped her become a homeowner, and deepen her roots in a place she can now truly call “home.”

What was your life like growing up?
We moved around a lot when I was younger. Havre really made an impression on me, and I knew that I wanted to return one day. After I became a teacher, I narrowed my job search to opportunities in Havre that would allow me to move back to this place I love.

Can you tell us a little about your home search?
After living in Havre for about five years, my husband and I started looking for a place to buy. We found out that we made too much money for the Rural Development loan program, but still didn’t have enough money for a down payment. To be honest, after hearing that, I kind of gave up on ever buying a house. My mom was actually the one that told me about the HomeNow program and it really changed everything.

What was it about HomeNow that appealed to you?
Teachers don’t make a lot, starting out. I finally had gotten to the point where I felt I could make a monthly mortgage payment, but it still would have been about five years before I could save enough for a down payment. It was so nice to not worry about a massive amount of money at one time. The monthly payments that my husband and I have now are very manageable. Plus, my commute to work is only 3 minutes, which keeps my transportation costs way down!

What is your favorite part of your new home?
I really love the porch. It’s enclosed and has lots of beautiful white trim. I recently got married and we even had our wedding photos taken there.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about being a homeowner?
The HomeNow program couldn’t have been easier to use. I didn’t have to do any extra work, and I’m pretty sure that it’s the only way I could be a homeowner today. I just hope that other people, (specifically teachers!) are able to benefit from HomeNow like I have.