When Hannah shared her homeownership story with us, she began with something that her daughter said, “Why aren’t you a homeowner, mom?” This thoughtful question resonated with Hannah and thus began her journey toward becoming a successful homeowner.

For Hannah, paying rent was a waste of money, and felt that one way she could invest in her family’s future was through homeownership. “I wanted my money to go toward building equity, for the long term,” Hannah said. She was first introduced to a homebuyer’s program through her church and credit union. As someone who always put her family first, Hannah didn’t need to learn in financial education classes how to change her spending habits on herself, but she did learn how to build credit while managing debt.

By raising her credit score and receiving down payment assistance from DreamKey, Hannah purchased a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Charlotte. When it was time for the heavy lifting, her son and church rallied and helped Hannah and her daughter move into their new home. Immediately, Hannah got busy with painting the kitchen, installing new hardware and other projects to make her home her own.

“I can’t believe this is my house and I no longer need permission to paint a wall, or really to do anything in my home because it’s mine and my family’s home,” said Hannah. “It’s such a great feeling to have that liberty.”

Although Hannah is a full-time teacher with a master’s degree, she often dealt with financial struggles while supporting her family. Too often, those in need of affordable homes have steady incomes and employment but they are not able to become homeowners without inventory – affordable homes for sale, programs – financial education, down payment assistance, and other support – friends, family and the community.