A home is one of our most basic needs. To have shelter, a roof over head, a place to hang your proverbial hat, it seems so simple. But this most basic of needs has become one of the hardest to obtain in the Santa Fe and Albuquerque communities. With skyrocketing home prices, dwindling inventory, a generation of new homebuyers saddled with mounds of student loans and other debts, it can seem impossible for some first-time homebuyers to make their dreams of homeownership a reality. That is where Homewise comes in. Homewise is a nonprofit organization that serves the Santa Fe and Albuquerque communities by helping make the dream of homeownership a reality. Through free workshops to help people better understand how to manage their finances and become ready for the home buying and homeownership process, finding affordable inventory, revitalizing otherwise forgotten properties, and creating new home inventory, Homewise is on a mission to help anyone who comes through their doors find the way to their own front door.
Getting Homebuyers Financial House in Order
One thing that makes Homewise unique is that they offer a pathway to homeownership through education and learning how to build healthy financial habits for long-term success. People come to Homewise accepting that they may never be homeowners, their credit may not be up to snuff, they have debt, or are lacking funds for a down payment. Usually, Homewise can help these people get their financial house in order in just a few months, but even if it takes years, they are committed to helping all their clients on their path toward homeownership.
Homewise’s homebuyer education classes set their clients up for success.
“Homewise is wonderful. They require a first-time homebuyers’ course which is excellent and was such a great resource for us. Kara and Cisi were always open to answering our many questions and helped us move up our closing date when we needed to. They are wonderful to work with. Highly recommended (especially for first-time home buyers)!”
- Caitlin S, Santa Fe Client
“Homewise is a fantastic organization! We have been working with them for 9 years and have a wonderful house in Aldea. They provide excellent finance education about home buying BEFORE they contract with you, to prevent any possibility of foreclosure… They have enabled us and so many people like us to be able to continue living and working in Santa Fe. Without Homewise, Santa Fe would be an extremely divided city with no middle class living here — just the very poor and very rich, which is a recipe for social tension and increased problems. Homewise allows an affordable situation for teachers, technicians, small business owners, and general middle-class development within Santa Fe…”
-Ashley Z, Santa Fe Client
Revitalizing Communities andCreating Homes
Finding existing housing that is affordable has become one of the biggest challenges facing homebuyers. Occasionally Homewise can find affordable homes on the market for their clients, but that is not enough. By creating their own inventory and renovating homes that have otherwise gone neglected they are able to ease the problem, while at the same time building up and revitalizing entire communities.
Homewise builds homes. Their Desert Sage development is priced competitively with over 40% of the homes built being reserved for affordable housing for working families.
In addition to building new homes, Homewise purchases empty homes and completes a high-quality renovation, focusing on energy efficiency and durability. They then work to sell these homes to low-to-moderate income clients, often providing down payment assistance that helps make purchasing more affordable. Focusing their program on key neighborhoods, such as Barelas, SouthBroadway, and the International District inAlbuquerque, increases successful homeownership, can help stabilize the surrounding area, and improve property values. In Santa Fein 2017, Homewise began work on the El Camino Crossing development located in the Midtown area. This development includes single-family homes, condominiums, live-work units and commercial buildings in close proximity to neighborhood-friendly businesses, revitalizing the Siler and Aqua Fria corridors.
When Carol was ready to start looking for her home, she and her Homewise Realtor, Aaron, cruised the market for a while but nothing seemed quite right. “What I really wanted,” she realized, “was to be in the next new Homewise Homes community. I needed anew and truly functional home that could serve me through the rest of my life.” Carol wanted an energy-efficient home that was within a price range she could afford. She also wanted a fenced yard for her canine companion. “Aaron understood what I was after,” she said, and he recommended holding out for a home at Vista Serena, a Homewise Homes community that was still in the planning stages. Over the next year, Carol worked with her Homewise team — Gloria, Sarai, and Sarahi — who all helped her move the dream forward. When her home was finally ready, it was well worth the wait.
Homewise understands the housing needs of the Santa Fe and Albuquerque communities. They aim to meet those needs by creating housing equity, helping to create successful homeowners, and strengthening the individuals and families who in turn will strengthen their communities for long-term success. Through the support of grants and the continued generosity of the Santa Fe and Albuquerque communities, Homewise makes the dreams of homeownership a reality.
This story is brought to you by the Santa Fe Community Foundation, where we inspire philanthropic generosity, strengthen nonprofits, and foster positive change to build a more vibrant, healthy, and resilient region. For information on how we help New Mexico nonprofits, please call us at 505.988.9715 or email email@example.com.
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