23-Year-Old Future Homeowner Seeks To Inspire Others
When Jimmie was just seven years old, his father picked him and his brother up from school one day and started driving to an area of town they’d never been to before. When they parked, Jimmie and his brother got out of the car and followed their father into an empty lot in the Harambee neighborhood.
“It’s one of my most vivid childhood memories,” Jimmie says. “He asked us ‘What do you think this is?’”
To their surprise, his next words were, “This is going to be your new home.”
Jimmie’s family had qualified to build a brand new Habitat for Humanity home on the plot where they were standing. He describes it as a life-changing moment. For the first time he’d have a room of his own – which he says was extremely empowering. And over time, Jimmie watched as the neighborhood improved.
“Looking back over the years, when we first moved in, the neighborhood was really bad,” he says. “But as more and more Habitat homes were being built, it really uplifted the neighborhood. Families were taking pride in their homes.”
From that early age, Jimmie’s father instilled the value of homeownership. By the age of 19, Jimmie already had his sights set on owning rather than renting.
“My dad taught me it was better to own than to rent,” Jimmie says. “When you own, they can’t take that away from you.”
After working hard to get his finances prepared for first-time homeownership, Jimmie was approved to build a brand new three bedroom home in the Harambee neighborhood – just three minutes away from where he grew up.
“I feel like it’s a match made in heaven,” Jimmie says. “I’m close to school, close to work, close to downtown. The entire eastside is where I spend most of my time.”
At the age of 23, Jimmie acknowledged that a lot of his peers feel like their only option is to rent.
“A lot people feel like [at this age] owning a home’s not normal,” he says. “I want to show them that this can be the new normal.”
When he gets the keys to his new home – on a block that’s soon to be lined with brand new Habitat homes – he’s planning to close the door and take a second to embrace the moment. He’s experienced the power of homeownership first hand and knows that this will be a milestone he’ll never forget.
Watch TMJ4’s interview with Jimmie as he worked to raise the walls of his future home: