Jan 30, 2011 8:35 PM by Alex Grubb (Great Falls)
A Great Falls organization is making owning a home a reality for many who might not be able to afford it on their own.
Home-ownership has long been part of the American dream and helping people find the home of their dreams is why Tanya Brummett became a real estate broker.
"Most of my clients have ended up becoming my friends and family," Brummett said.
It's also why she signed up to be an agent on the first ever "Affordable Homes Tour" put on by NeighborWorks Great Falls.
"I really like NeighborWorks. I like the fact that they help people who can't afford very much to be able to get into a home instead of renting," Brummett said.
However, buying one of the 16 homes on the tour is not the traditional home-buying experience. Buyers must qualify for the program and then can receive down payment assistance from $20,000 and in some cases, up to half the cost of the home.
"It's not a grant, it's a lending product but it gets people into a home with their mortgage far less than it would traditionally be," said Alan Henry, director of operations for NeighborWorks Great Falls.
The organization takes pride in being able to help lower-income people become homeowners because of the stability it provides to their families.
"They move quite often from being disenfranchised in the community to being a shareholder in the community. For most people it's the first investment that they'll ever make where they'll build equity," Henry said.
Those viewing homes on the tour say being a homeowner is very important to them.
"My whole family's from here and I don't really feel like I want to leave any of them right now. So, just to feel steady and on my feet. I've got a good job so I want to have a stable place to live," said Macie Lindgren.
For Tanya helping people is her passion, but helping people who can't achieve their dreams on their own is just icing on the cake.
"Helping people that can't afford homes, those are probably the best transactions that you can have," Brummett said.
Homes on the tour range from $95,000 to $159,000.
Applications to be considered to purchase a home are due to NeighborWorks by February 17th.