How FWI Helped Sabrina Buy Her First Home

A FWI Success Story


Sabrina's Homebuying Journey Started with a Phone Call.

She and her son were living with her parents after their rental had been vandalized twice in six months. She'd been working to save money while paying off debts, and one day, she answered a call from Jill Lombardo-Melchiore, FWI's Group Coordinator/Marketing Specialist.


On that call, Sabrina learned about the USDA First-Time Homebuyer Purchase and Repair Program. It offered her the golden opportunity to purchase a home with no deposit, no down payment, and an extended loan repayment timeframe.


Sabrina met the financial requirements and agreed to contribute more than 125 hours of 'sweat equity' towards her new home's rehabilitation. She qualified for a 38-year mortgage (well beyond the standard 30) that included expenses usually paid out-of-pocket.


After a months-long search, Sabrina found the perfect house in the neighborhood where she'd grown up. In March 2021, she and her son got the keys and moved into their new home. She became the first Financial Wellness Institute client to own a home through the USDA program.


How FWI Helped

Throughout the application, approval, and search processes, Sabrina received support and guidance from Ted Gooding, FWI's Real Estate Development Project Manager, and Janice Kaighn, FWI's Supervised Bank Account Manager.


The team at FWI coordinated with the many agencies involved in the process, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, their New Jersey State Office, and the National Council on Agriculture Life & Labor Research Fund.


It takes a village to help a struggling family become proud homeowners, and your village tour guide is the Financial Wellness Institute!