How Malcolm reached his goal of homeownership at 26

March 19th, 2019
Malcolm Brown in his new home

At 18, Malcolm Brown set goals for his future and a timetable to accomplish them. One of those goals was to become a homeowner in his mid-20s.

Earlier this month, Malcolm realized this goal – through hard work, careful budgeting, and the help of Southwest Solutions’ homeownership assistance team.

The team helps about 125 people a year become homeowners.

Malcolm with his dad, Jamie Ebaugh, at his new home in Centerline

Malcolm bought a 4-bedroom, brick ranch home in Centerline for $149,000. The home was built in 1950, and it is in superb condition.

“I like the neighborhood, the hardwood floors, the sunken living room, the vintage wallpaper, the way the light comes in, and so many other things about the house,” Malcolm said enthusiastically. “It already feels like home and I intend to be here for many years.”

To afford a home in this price range, Malcolm needed downpayment assistance (DPA). He had heard that DPA incentives are available to homebuyers who complete a homebuyer education workshop. So he took the class offered by Southwest Solutions.

“The class was incredibly helpful,” Malcolm said. “I didn’t know much about the process of buying a home before I attended, but I learned a lot from the speakers who presented. I also made connections that were very useful. Darlene Leaks from Flagstar spoke about what it takes to get a mortgage, and I ended up getting my mortgage with Flagstar. Kenneth Scott spoke about the real estate market, and I ended up working with Kenneth as my realtor.”

After completing the class, Malcolm met with a homebuyer advisor at Southwest Solutions, Teresa Torres, to help with budgeting, qualifying for a mortgage, and applying for DPA through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). Through its Step Forward program, MSHDA was offering $15,000 in DPA to eligible homebuyers. Malcolm was able to secure this amount. (Note: The Step Forward program recently ended, but MSHDA is still offering up to $7,500 in DPA to eligible homebuyers.)

With the DPA he received, Malcolm’s monthly mortgage payment is about $1,000, with taxes and insurance rolled in.

“It’s a good deal, and it’s much better than paying rent, since I’m building wealth for the future,” Malcolm said.

Malcolm is one of about 400 people who attend Southwest Solutions’ homebuyer education course every year. The class meets on the second Friday of every month. To register for the class, click here.

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