How long have you worked with HFA Miami's homeownership program?
I have worked with the HFA Program for approximately 20 years. A coworker mentioned the program to me and I connected with Adela Garcia (CFO, HFA Miami) who explained it further.
What do you think is the greatest benefit of the HFA program?
Many people would like to achieve their dream of homeownership but don’t have the sufficient funds saved for the down payment and closing costs. With that said, I believe that the greatest benefit of the HFA program is the financial assistance provided to first time homebuyers who can receive up to $15,000 as a 0% second mortgage. This is really a life saver for many low to moderate income families who find it difficult to save funds when living from paycheck to paycheck.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
My greatest satisfaction as a loan originator is the feedback I receive from first time buyers who are finally able to achieve their dream of homeownership. They are really appreciative and thankful that programs such as this one are available to help them. I love seeing the expression on their face when they are handed the keys to their new home! I am most moved by the cards and thank you letters that I receive after closings. This is one of the reasons I will continue to work with the HFA program as long as I am a loan officer.
What is the biggest misconception about the homebuying process?
Many people, buyers and sellers, believe that the program is a very lengthy and complicated process when in fact, it’s actually very simple! It’s the same process as getting a conventional mortgage, but with the HFA guidelines being adhered to. And since the underwriting is done by the participating lender’s staff, the file isn’t sent to a third party and the closing can take place in the same time as any other “regular” loan.
Any advice for apprehensive first-time homebuyers?
My advice for apprehensive buyers is to GO FOR IT! Attend a first-time homebuyer class and get familiar with the homebuying process, get pre-approved to know your options and most importantly know that where there’s a will, there’s a way! Sometimes, it takes a little longer of a time period to get ready but if the desire to become a homeowner is there, it can become a reality. Don’t give up on your dream!
Wendy Durant is a Loan Officer with First Equity Mortgage Brokers.
Visit https://www.hfamiami.com/hfaprograms to learn more about our first time homebuyer program.