In the fall of 2019, Andrey Douthard fulfilled his dream of opening a record store / beer and wine bar in Detroit. He named the venue Paramita Sound, and it’s located downtown on Broadway. “Paramita” is a Buddhist word signifying the path to perfection.
Unfortunately, things did not go as perfectly as Andrey planned. Six months after Paramita Sound opened, the Covid crisis hit, and the store had to close its doors to wait out the crisis, like so many other businesses.
“Though the finances are tight, our landlord has been incredibly understanding, and we have been able to secure some grants to sustain the business until we’re able to re-open, which will be very exciting,” said Andrey, 34.
With Paramita Sound on hold for now, Andrey turned his attention to realizing another dream: becoming a homeowner.
Andrey’s brother Carl and sister-in-law Daniele were the first family to attain homeownership through Southwest Solutions’ Newberry program. Newberry is an 8-block area in the Chadsey-Condon neighborhood in southwest Detroit. In Newberry, Southwest Solutions acquired 60 single-family houses that were rental properties to transition them to affordable homeownership. Current renters have priority in taking advantage of this opportunity. Daniele had been renting the house for 11 years before signing the mortgage in December 2018.
Daniele and Carl told Andrey that there are a number of vacant homes in Newberry which Southwest Solutions is renovating to make available for purchase to eligible homebuyers. Daniele referred Andrey to Dan Pederson, who oversees the Newberry program. Andrey then began the process of qualifying for the mortgage, including completing the Homebuyer Education workshop that Southwest Solutions offers.
Upon signing his mortgage, Andrey became the 33rd person to achieve homeownership through the Newberry program. He bought a renovated home just down the street from his brother, and is moving in with his 4-year-old son.
Andrey had been renting a place in the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood on the east side.
“I had been paying about twice as much in rent as I’ll be paying now for my home,” Andrey said.
Andrey bought the home for $59,000. The closing costs were covered through a grant from the Sam L. and Judith G. Yaker Fund, which specifically supports the Newberry affordable homeownership program. The mortgage is for 15 years, and Andrey’s monthly payments, with taxes and insurance rolled in, are about $660.
“I am so proud to have a home of our own for me and my son,” Andrey said. “This amazing opportunity could not have come at a better time. I’d been living paycheck to paycheck. With the money I’m saving on rent, and with the chance to build equity, I can plan past the present and into the future, which feels so empowering and liberating.”
We thank the Home Builders Association Charitable & Education Foundation for its generous donation to help us renovate homes in the Newberry neighborhood to create affordable homeownership opportunities for families like Andrey Douthard’s.