Q&A with Melissa Washington, Homebuyer in the Legacy Square Development

Melissa Washington

What barriers did you have prior to working with NeighborWorks that inhibited you from buying your home?

I was very fortunate to begin my financial journey through a program the Waco Housing Authority (WHA) offers called Family Self-Sufficiency Program. This program assists those that are recipients of Public Housing or Section 8 in obtaining the skills necessary to achieve greater economic success through career paths as well as homeownership within a 5-year timeframe. One of my major goals was home ownership. With the increasing cost of housing, affordability became a challenge when looking for a home to purchase. Fortunately, I was blessed to qualify for down payment and closing cost assistance through the City of Waco, and NeighborWorks Waco, being a Community Housing Development Organization was able to build me a home that was within my affordability.

What prompted you to contact and work with NeighborWorks Waco?

I started my research for homeownership and had heard about NeighborWorks years ago and also Grassroots. I gave Grassroots a call because they were offering free homeownership classes and certifications and helped work with you to dispute items from your credit. This was all happening during the Covid-19 pandemic, so most things were done online through zoom meetings. I then began to look for housing opportunities within my budget and income guidelines. I had already heard about NeighborWorks Waco’s good housing opportunities and of Mrs. Delisa and how she could help answer my questions and guide me in the right direction. Coincidently I saw her in the department store and was excited that she took the time to give me her contact information. I called the next business day, and that’s when my journey began with NeighborWorks.

How was your experience working with NeighborWorks, and how did they help you reach your homebuying goals?

My experience working with NeighborWorks was exciting. It was a longer process due to the Covid-19 epidemic, which we all experienced. We worked mainly through emails, phone calls, planned meetings, and video chats. Working with NeighborWorks Waco, and the City of Waco, who, might I add, was an incredible team as well, and the lending company was a big blessing. Each and every one played a substantial role in the process as a whole team contributing in so many ways to help my family make the dream of homeownership come true, and I am forever grateful, honored, and blessed. I have a beautiful home built on prayers, lots of love, and hard, dedicated work.

What advice would you give to others looking to purchase a home?

I would say NEVER give up. Save all the cash that you can to help toward making your dreams of homeownership a reality. Do your research and pay close attention to your classes because they provide great financial tools to help you move through this journey gracefully. Stay positive and focused on the big goal. Keep hoping and dreaming; everything happens based on God’s plan.