By Dana Delgado
Unquestionably, home ownership is the American dream.
Unfortunately for many, home ownership persists as an unshakeable American nightmare.
“We never thought we’d be able to buy a house again,” said Charlie Dortch who had a negative experience with the first home he ever bought. “Home buying is one of the basics of life that you never learn.”
Dortch said his first home purchase consumed his entire paycheck since he had been talked into overbuying or buying much more house than he needed while living in Virginia. The strain took its toll on his finances and his hopes for ever settling into another home were dashed by the time he relocated to Liberty Hill.
Cindy Chivers, a business partner of Dortch, found herself in a similar financial situation; although she had been a victim of the mortgage crisis and credit fears had lingered for years.
A free, three-hour class offered March 25th by Liberty Hill senior loan officer Janet Widmer of Supreme Lending — The Schutze Branch — and her network cohort King Bravo, a real estate agent with Nextage – Lone Star Realty, changed everything for Chivers and Dortch who mirror the home buying experiences of countless people.
“It (home buying) became a reality within a few hours,” Dortch said. “She (Janet Widmer) gave us so many options. Now, we are planning to build a house. We are super excited!”
Dortch, a Marble Falls native who spent 15 years in Virginia before moving to Liberty Hill in 2009, explained that Widmer gave him a step-by-step plan to becoming qualified.
“Janet pulled our credit and told us exactly what we needed to do,” he said. “The biggest thing was our one-on-one time. Her free class was amazing. I thought I was informed but I still learned a lot. It was easily one of the best days I’ve had in a long time.”
Dortch said he is working on following up on her suggestions.
Like her business partner, Chivers’ outlook has dramatically changed.
“I’m 60 years old and will be sitting better because of the knowledge from the class,” she said. “It’s been phenomenal. I had been looking for a few years since moving here.”
Chivers said she realizes it’s not an overnight process but believes her dream of home ownership with some acreage will soon be a reality and her 10 plus years of worrying about her credit and housing will be over.
“I’m in shock,” she said.
Before hearing of the class, Dortch said he had planned to hire a credit repair agent but realized that would be costly.
“Others had told me that I wouldn’t qualify for a home loan and renting was getting me nowhere,” he said.
Interestingly, Dortch said he was not really up to going to the recent home buying class but found it more than beneficial from beginning to end.
“I loved the class,” he said.
The free seminar is the first of regular classes to be presented by Widmer and Bravo.
Widmer is a 19-year veteran of the business who is based in Liberty Hill.
“It is very satisfying to help people,” she said. “I could physically see the stress lifted at our first class. People are afraid to know.”
Widmer said that the next classes, which will again cover all loan types, look at all kinds of scenarios, and online resources along with a private, personalized review of their credit and home buying goals as well as develop a customized plan, are scheduled for the evening of June 22 and the morning of June 24. Specific time and place are yet to be determined.
“The classes are for all home buyers,” she said. “Knowledge is power. My goal is to check everyone’s commitment, put them on a path for home ownership, and help them realize the American dream.”
Bravo, a realtor with extensive national business and managerial experience, added that the classes are intended to alleviate fears, debunk myths, and educate people on purchasing a home.
“I’ve been very adamant about education and its importance for people to know real estate transactions,” he said. “We want to empower people and help them not to be afraid of making a decision.”
More information on the upcoming class is available from Widmer at (512) 375-3889 (direct) or RSVP at (512) 619-9050 (cell). You can also email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bravo can be reached by email at email@example.com.