A Home Repair Loan Story – Charlotte
A hole in the wall…
Charlotte, who has spent her life helping others, found herself in need of help this summer when she noticed she could see her front lawn… through the wall in her basement.
Charlotte, a Rutland resident, former art teacher, counselor for teens and their families in conflict, and now an avid volunteer, knew who to turn to (after momentarily panicking).
“When I noticed the rupture in the foundation, I had to go through the whole ‘crisis piece’- what am I going to do!- for about three days, and then I said, wait a minute, NeighborWorks!” she chuckles. “I knew you guys were the right ones to call.”
Years earlier she had signed up for a Homebuyer Education Course and learned about all the services NeighborWorks offers.
“I had owned a home before, but I took the course with NeighborWorks because I knew the process had changed since I had last bought a house- and I was right, there was so much new stuff I didn’t know!”
With support from NeighborWorks, Charlotte bought her dream home. Like many homes in Vermont, it was dealing with issues that come with being 100 years old.
She knew it needed some repairs, but when she called in an electrician five years ago to look at the wiring, the estimate was alarmingly high. So, she put off getting the work done in order to save money for it.
This time, as Charlotte stood staring through her basement wall, she knew: this repair couldn’t be delayed.
So, Charlotte contacted NeighborWorks…
Charlotte made the phone call and talked with NeighborWorks’ Director of Lending, Amanda Moore for an initial phone intake, and then NeighborWorks’ Home Repair Specialist, Ron Ryan, went out to evaluate the property and prioritize repairs with Charlotte.
“Ron is a nice fellow and good to work with. I knew that the contractors you folks deal with are quality, and that you’d find me the best estimates for the work I needed. My experience with private contractors hasn’t been great; I knew I’d be in a real mess on my own. Ron got me a much lower bid, and now I’m finally getting that electrical work done, along with my foundation.”
Once Charlotte decided on the scope of the work that would make her home safe and healthy, she worked with Amanda to design a loan that worked for her.
“Amanda was the most helpful, and we worked out a loan that was manageable for me and that covered the repairs that were absolutely necessary for my house- I have more on my list to tackle but these were the ones Ron helped me prioritize,” Charlotte says.
“I have automatic reductions taken from my bank account to keep me on the safe side, and I plan on paying more when I can. The loan is affordable, which was important for me since I’m retired and my income is already squeezed,” she says, acknowledging a reality that many retired Vermonters face.
Now, after four days of work, the foundation has been repaired (and some thorn bushes removed!).
“The contractors were nice fellows,” Charlotte adds, “and now my wall in my basement looks like a real wall!”
“Without NeighborWorks, I wouldn’t have known where to turn. I’m so appreciative.”