WENDELL — More people own homes than ever before. The increase comes, in part, from a higher number of minorities who have joined the ranks of realizing the American Dream.
1998 was a record breaking year for homeownership. More than 63 percent of families owned property rather than rented.Wake Countyhelps by educating many first time home-buyers and lending a helping hand with their finances.
"The thing I love about it is the windows. I love the windows," said homeowner Maribel Sanchez. "We used to live in a trailer that was falling apart."
She's one of millions of Americans who bought their first house last year.
"They love to play here, jump around. There's plenty of room," said Sanchez.
She is also among a record number of minorities making their first down payment.
"I thought it was going to be more complicated than it really was. You just don't know," said Sanchez.
"There's so many people who want to buy homes that just don't know how to," said Judy Boddie ofWake County Human Services.
Wake County's down payment assistance program has provided loans to more than 90 families.
The county also offers classes so first-time home-buyers know what to expect in the future.
"We don't want to create a program that's going to ultimately cause them to be in foreclosure and lose their homes. We want to make dreams not destroy dreams," said Boddie.
Sanchez says she learned how to create a budget and the importance of saving, so she will always have a place to come home to in the future.
"So in case you get sick, you don't have a job, or something happens, at least you have the money to pay the mortgage for the next three months. That way, you're prepared" said Sanchez.
The county says by increasing the number of homeowners, their real estate base increases and so does the marketability of other homes. It just gives everyone a better sense of community.
If you would like more information about Wake County's First Time Buyer Program you can call856-5689.
There are certain conditions you have to meet before you qualify.