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Young homeowner achieves goals with a little LIFT

2/15/2016
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Nancy Gaucin with her HomeStart
homeownership counselor
Nancy Gaucin, from Albuquerque, NM, has achieved quite a bit in her 25 years. She’s a full-time student at the University of New Mexico, where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in radiologic sciences while working full-time as an x-ray technician. She also recently purchased her own home, thanks to the LIFT program, a collaboration among Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America and NeighborWorks network members.
 
Nancy began looking for a house while attending community college, and that’s when she learned about NeighborWorks member HomeStart (an affiliate of HomeWise) and the HomeLIFT program, which provides down-payment assistance to qualified borrowers.
 
Gaucin was the first customer to register for the launch event for the Albuquerque program. Once she was approved to receive LIFT funds, she signed up for homebuyer education right away. She learned about the homebuying process, how to be prepared for unexpected expenses and how to budget.

“I’m pretty good at budgeting, but I didn’t know how to work with a realtor,” she says. That information in particular helped her be a savvy customer when working with her real estate agent.
 
Soon, with assistance from LIFT plus the money she had saved on her own, Gaucin found the perfect house for her. She was able to move from a mobile home to a house in a centrally located neighborhood near stores and businesses. Her mortgage payment is just $40 more per month than she was paying previously.  

Gaucin says she likes the stability of being a homeowner. “Along with going to school, buying this house was an investment in my future,” she said.
 
After she gets her degree, Gaucin plans to apply to a program to become a physician’s assistant. In her limited spare time, she’s done some remodeling work on the house. She also has gone back to HomeStart to speak about her experience with them.

“The people at HomeStart tell me they’re proud of me, and that I’m an example to other young people. They make me feel like a star!” she says. “I’m very blessed.”
 

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