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Betty Mason always dreamed big. As a longtime renter and PCRI resident in northeast Portland, Betty (pictured below in front of her home) took the first step in 2007 toward making her dream of homeownership come true. Today, she owns the single-level home of her dreams: close to parks with lots of windows and a big porch like she always wanted.
PCRI’s support for first-time homebuyers like Betty includes education and hands-on guidance as well as partnerships such as the Individual Development Account (IDA) program from VIDA Oregon. VIDA’s matched-savings IDA, helped accelerate Betty’s down payment savings and gave Betty the “ability and hope to be a first time homebuyer.”
Not sure where to begin, Betty trusted PCRI’s expertise and personal approach to support her in buying her first home. She also learned to trust herself. Like many first-time homebuyers, Betty often wondered “what am I doing?”
“For me, it was all faith,” Betty explains. “The opportunity was there and I had all this information and classes and people guiding me. I had to put it into action. I was stepping out on faith.”
Feeling excited, overwhelmed, scared, doubtful and elated, Betty ran the gamut of emotions that come with buying a first home. But PCRI’s Homeownership Program had her back the whole way.
“I can’t imagine buying a house without that support,” she beamed, adding that she was “amazed at how warm people were and how they really cared about you to help you accomplish your goal.”
At closing, her team of support including PCRI Homeownership Program Manager Charles Funches (pictured below on left) and real estate agent Shelly Fullwiley (pictured below, third from left) joined her.
“They changed my perspective to prepare for homeownership,” Betty remarked.
PCRI’s individualized approach and homeownership support don’t end when a new homeowner receives her keys. PCRI’s programs and resources remain available and homebuyers are encouraged to participate in post-purchase education programs.
Referring to her homeownership refererence guide from PCRI, Betty feels confident that she has the tools and support to maintain her home.
“I’m stronger than I thought I was,” Betty reflects. She is also quick to express appreciation for PCRI’s expertise, patience, kindness and desire to empower the community.
“We all need each other to help each other,” she says. “[PCRI] helps someone help themselves and better their lives.”
Betty is one of 12 families PCRI helped become first-time homeowners in 2009. PCRI gives special thanks to VIDA of Oregon for their support as well as helping to share Betty’s story (much of which as been duplicated here).