FIRST TIME HOMEOWNERS
Winooski couple buy their first home
OWNERSHIP HELPS FAMILY STAY IN STATE
Sarah and Colin Robinson were high-school sweethearts growing up in Brattleboro. They were drawn to settle down in Burlington after graduating from college because of their desire to live in a place that supported their values.
“We loved Vermont and weren’t sure what other places were aligned with what we were looking for in a community,” explained Colin.
After renting in Burlington, they started looking into buying a home in the area. A year of home shopping led them to a realization: there was a disconnect between the homes they were interested in and their ability to afford them. With two incomes – Colin works at the Peace and Justice Center and Sarah at the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger – they assumed buying a home should be possible. What they faced was a real estate market that priced them out. That’s when a friend told them about CHT. They attended a homebuyer education workshop and came to view home buying as a puzzle – and CHT helped them identify all the pieces. After meeting with a CHT HomeOwnership Center counselor, they realized they could access a down payment grant by purchasing a Housing Trust home, and now all of the pieces started to fall in place. Sarah and Colin took advantage of a grant in CHT’s Buyer Driven grant program and went house shopping, knowing that if they found something they liked and that fit their budget, they could achieve their dream of owning a home by placing the property under the Housing Trust’s permanent stewardship. They found an ideal single-family home in Winooski.
“Being young Vermonters, we recognized that affordable housing is really hard to come by,” said Colin. “Our house is now our home – and as the weather has gotten colder, we’ve loved having our woodstove burning!” added Sarah. “We just hosted Thanksgiving with our family, and sitting around the table with our family and friends made us reflect on how truly grateful we are to own our own home.”
Sarah acknowledged another benefit of buying a permanently affordable home that meshes perfectly with their values. “We knew that we were preserving this same opportunity for someone else [to buy a home. We were making it a reality not only for ourselves, but for another family that ends up buying this house from us.”