Program making home buying dreams come true

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

SAUCIER, MS (WLOX) - David and Nicole Lawrence never thought they'd be able to afford a new home. The family relies solely on one income; David works as a field tech for Cable One while his wife, Nicole, is going back to school. Despite their financial hurdles, two weeks ago the Lawrences moved into their first home.

"We were just ecstatic that we could have a place for me, my husband and my daughter," Nicole Lawrence said.

It's all thanks to My Home, My Coast - a program through the non-profit Gulf Coast Renaissance Corporation. The couple received $22,500 toward a down payment and $3,500 toward closing costs. To make the house more affordable, the program even split the mortgage in two.

"The first mortgage is from the bank at 40 percent and 60 percent of the house is at zero percent interest. That's incredible," David Lawrence said.

To be eligible, the Lawrence Family's income had to fall within 120 percent of the average median income. That's about $60,000 for a family of four.  They also went through home buyer and credit counseling classes.

"It took me 14 days to go through the whole program and I was done," Nicole said.

Thanks to the program, owning a home is now more attainable to those who once thought it was beyond their reach.

"I just want everybody to know you can do it.  If we can do it, anybody can do it."

My Home, My Coast helps those living in the six coastal counties and people who have not owned a home within the last six months. Due to the overwhelming response to the program, it's had to temporarily suspend its application process. But, it's working to re-open the process very soon.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.