Nancy achieves the American Dream

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Nancy Taylor’s experiences with the Champlain Housing Trust have spanned more than a decade and a range of services: from an affordable apartment to the house she shares with her dog, Liselle, and an affordable home repair loan.

She first heard about CHT when she and her daughter were looking for an affordable apartment in the Saint Albans area. They found a “great apartment” and lived there for five years, until her daughter graduated. After that, Nancy moved to another CHT apartment, where she had a view of the park and appreciated the budget stability of a place where the rent included all utilities (except electricity and cable).

She works at Northwestern Counseling and Support in developmental services, helping clients find jobs – and says that she’s connected to CHT that way as well, since some of her clients rent from CHT.

Although she had thought about homeownership, “I hesitated for a long time because it’s just me … but [I found that] there were a lot of people at CHT who were there to support and guide me.”

“To try to save a lot of money for a huge down payment can be very challenging,” she adds.

In May of 2011, however, she finally felt ready to begin the home buying process and coincidentally came across a front page article in the Saint Albans Messenger that featured CHT’s Shared Equity Program.

She attended the eight-hour HomeBuyer Education class and once she began working with CHT, she says the process felt like it fell into place. She met with counseling staff for a credit check and went through the application list to complete each item.

“The minute I walked in, I knew: oh my god, I love this house,” she says of her home in Swanton.

By August, that house was hers. She was so thrilled, she laughs, that “my brother, four years later, has saved the voicemail of me saying ‘I got the house!’”

When she pictured owning her own home, she imagined her daughter and her dogs coming for a visit and being able to run around in the grassy backyard. Seeing that vision come true was the moment when the reality hit home: “this is what it’s about.”

In the years that she’s owned her home, she says she appreciates the ongoing support from CHT. Last summer, Nancy noticed that her dream home needed roof and stair repairs, so she contacted CHT and enrolled in the home loan program. She was able to make the necessary repairs and move on before they became larger problems.

“To be able to provide that security for yourself” is so important, she says. Even though she had been nervous about owning a home, she knew that with CHT “it’s not, ‘ok, we sold you the house, see you later!’ There’s support there still.”