Markita Williams lights up when she describes the space and convenience that her 1-acre property in Louisburg provides. With four bedrooms and two bathrooms, their new home is in the city, but "more of the 'country' part - that's what I like," Markita says.
Markita and her husband Nique, both originally from Zebulon, NC, knew they needed more space but were nervous to take the first step toward buying their own home. With five growing children, they could see that renting wouldn't be able to meet their needs much longer.
"We were renting for a long time, and weren't sure about our credit and whether we would qualify, but I told my husband 'We don't know until we try, so why don't we just try?'" Markita knew the process wouldn't be easy or comfortable, but she was willing to take a chance to make her family’s life easier.
When she started researching credit requirements, she learned that a lot of lenders had increased their credit requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the initial research she did, Markita came across Self-Help, and decided to take a chance based on some favorable reviews.
While Markita knew that she and her husband might need to take time to improve their credit, she also knew that some of their financial strengths — like their steady employment history and strong savings — could work in their favor. "We felt really solid about having some money saved, and also our jobs. We've both been employed for several years, so we both had good job history and a little bit of money."
After deciding to take the first step, Markita got in touch with Self-Help mortgage lending officer Shondra Tanner, and was surprised to find that starting the home purchase process was not as difficult as she had expected. "Shondra was great, and she walked me through all the next steps in the process. We communicated a lot through email, and she got right back to me if we had a question."
After about a month and a half of searching, Markita and her family found a home they loved and a realtor they felt comfortable with. "It was a breeze. Sometimes you hear how much of a hassle the process is from family members, and it wasn't a hassle at all."
Taking that first step toward becoming homeowners has paid off in comfort and wellbeing, and it's also changed the way Markita and her husband think about their future. Not only does their growing family now have plenty of space, they have the security and stability that Markita and her husband have always wanted to provide.
"As you get older, you look forward to your kids' future, and you want to leave something to them. This is the first step to leaving something to our kids. If something were to happen, then they'd have something," Markita says. Markita and Nique’s children range in age from one to 15, and having a spacious home they can call their own provides room to grow and peace of mind for their futures. “That's why this house was a blessing—4 bedrooms means enough space for everybody. It was a dream come true.”
For other families considering how they might benefit from homeownership but unsure of how financially ready they might be, Markita encourages them to take steps to find out. "Even if you don't know what your situation is, you have to just try and see what happens. At the beginning of the process, it was kind of scary and nerve-wracking. But I think if you feel interested, you should just try - it can't hurt, and at least you'll know where you stand."
If you're considering buying a home and taking that first step to building wealth, stability, and wellbeing for your family, we encourage you to check out our home mortgage products, and reach out to your local branch or call our mortgage team at 800-476-7428.