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The Arce Family

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“I don’t want to rent anymore! We’re going to have a baby. Can’t we just find someplace to settle down?” Brandie asks Drew again. It’s not that they haven’t been trying...

“I don’t want to rent anymore! We’re going to have a baby. Can’t we just find someplace to settle down?” Brandie asks Drew again. It’s not that they haven’t been trying; they talked with lenders and realtors and saw houses, but in 2006 there’s nothing affordable on the market. They don’t give up hope that one day they’ll buy a home.

In 2012, with the economy improving, their daughter Cadence now in school and their son DJ still a babe in arms, they redouble their efforts. They tour a lot of homes, but every time something is affordable and looks like it will work for them, they can’t seem to move fast enough—competition, cash offers, investors offering above asking price—nothing’s going their way.

Brandie logs many hours searching for houses online, looking for something, anything that might help them. In one of hundreds of searches she comes across Homestead’s website and quickly fills out the application. After a phone call confirming their family’s eligibility, they meet with Lindsey at Homestead to see a few available houses, but they just don’t quite work. Disheartened, Drew and Brandie continue their increasingly hopeless search on their own.

Driving through West Seattle a few months later, they pull over beside a home with a sign out front. “Hey! Homestead’s working on this one,” Drew points out. “But it doesn’t look very nice,” he worries. The paint’s chipping, the plants are overgrown and the railing on the stairs is falling apart.

“We might as well ask them about it. It’s so close to Cadence’s school she could walk!” Brandie responds hopefully. They confirm later that day that Homestead will soon be selling the house and will be doing a lot of work on it.

Drew and Brandie decide to buy it, trusting it will soon be the high-quality home they know Homestead delivers. For the first time, the homebuying process feels manageable. Yes, there’s still a lot of work, but with Homestead there to explain things and guide them, Brandie and Drew finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Just when the house is in arm’s reach, disaster strikes.

“The bank won’t approve the loan,” Brandie tells Homestead staffer Steph. Brandie and Drew are devastated. Unseasonable rain has led to standing water in the backyard.

“We will fix this,” Steph assures them, and just days later Homestead is hard at work clearing the backyard and installing new drainage.

About a month later, word comes from Homestead: The bank’s back on board! The closing is a whirlwind, and finally, they own their home. Practically glowing with happiness and with tears of relief in their eyes, Brandie and Drew survey the muddy backyard. But the house is in great shape, and Drew sees the yard as an opportunity to really make it their own. “Trees here, flowers there, a grill, grass for the kids to play on…this will be perfect.”

Last edited 08/14

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