Gustice is Building Stability in Midtown
Stability is one of the key benefits of homeownership. From the financial stability of locking in a long-term mortgage rate to the physical stability of putting down roots in a neighborhood, homeownership offers a constant in world full of variables. Gustice is acutely aware of what that stability, or lack thereof, can mean for a family.
She has three young children, Ma’Khya (4), MaRhya (3), and Milani (10 months). Her goal is to have a safe, stable place where the three can grow up.
“We always moved growing up,” says Gustice. “I never understood why at the time. We’d meet new friends and then had to move again.”
Through Habitat’s homeownership program, Gustice is putting down roots in Milwaukee’s Midtown neighborhood. She’s building a brand new home with four bedrooms. Upon telling her kids they’d been accepted into the program her oldest, Ma’Khya, asked, “Will I get my own room?” She sure will, and likely for years to come.
The average Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity homeowner stays in their home for 13 years. Renters, on the other hand, average just 2.3 years in a location. Many renters are put into impossible situations when a landlord raises the rent beyond affordability or fails to adequately maintain a property. The effects of frequently moving can be felt far beyond the walls of home, from the classroom to the community one builds in their neighborhood.
Gustice has been renting an apartment in Menomonee Falls. The mortgage for her brand new Habitat home will be significantly less than what she’s currently paying to rent. She sees this as an opportunity to get ahead of her mortgage and pay off the home faster. But most of all, she’s looking forward to the memories they’ll make at their new home.
“This will give my kids the opportunity to run around and play in the backyard,” she says. “My kids love flowers, so I want to learn how to plant a garden with them.”
Gustice is looking forward to family game nights and holidays with her extended family. Her siblings and mom are all very close, but they haven’t had a great place to host get-togethers. Gustice says her kids love decorating. She can’t wait to host Christmas for the first time in their new home, something Gustice expects will be a very emotional experience.