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Equipping Latinos And Other DC And Baltimore Metro Area Residents With Skills And Financial Tools To Create A Better Future For Their Families And Communities


From Home to Homeownership

First-time homebuyer, Rolanda Wray, poses on the front porch of her brand new home. For 29-year-old Rolanda Wray, coming home to her 2-story yellow townhouse with a spacious backyard and a wraparound picket fence is a daily reminder that her decision to purchase her Northeast Washington home was without a doubt the right one. 

“I had just come out of grad school and was looking for an apartment, when I realized, the expenses for an apartment [were] the same as for owning a home,” said Rolanda, who grew up in the Petworth neighborhood of D.C.

After careful consideration, Rolanda opted for the route of homeownership, and began attending several open houses for first-time homebuyers. 

 “The programs and assistance that was out there for first time homebuyers was really what pushed me to buy a home,” she commented. “I felt like I had gained a lot of knowledge and it was time for me to sow my own seeds.”

Feeling better prepared to tackle the next step, Rolanda contacted the Latino Economic Development Center’s Homeownership Counseling department. Guided by LEDC housing counselor Jose Rodriguez, Rolanda applied for financial assistance through the DC Home Purchasing Assistance Program (HPAP). The program provides qualified applicants with up to $40,000 in financial assistance to be used for down payment and/or closing costs of their first home. 

With stable employment and a great credit score to match, Rolanda’s biggest difficulty had been finding an agency that could accommodate her work hours.  

“LEDC [was] definitely more flexible when working with clients,” she noted. “Mr. Rodriguez was willing to take my appointment even after work—it would be 8 o’clock and he was still here working with me.”

Constraints aside, Rolanda enrolled and completed her homeownership training and counseling. The training brought together loan officers, insurance agents, and closing agents as they taught prospective homeowners the nuts and bolts of homeownership. 

In March 2013, Rolanda moved into her new home.

“I felt that I had grown so much that it was time for me to move,” said Rolanda, recalling her decision to become a homeowner. “Investments are always good for your future.”

 

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