Stephanie’s Building Her Future
By investing in homeownership, Stephanie is seeking to build a foundation of stability for her family. With her four year old son, Jaxen, and a little girl on the way, Stephanie is building a three bedroom home in Milwaukee’s Midtown neighborhood. Family is extremely important to Stephanie, another reason why this home seemed like a perfect fit.
“We’ll be right by where my parents live,” she says. “So, we can walk down the street and visit anytime.”
While she’s grown accustomed to spending time at her parents’ home, she’s excited to have the space to host family get-togethers. Stephanie has plans to finish her future basement as a rec room.
“We can have family game nights and invite everyone over to watch the Packers on Sundays,” she says.
The mortgage for Stephanie’s brand new home is anticipated to be a few hundred dollars less per month than what she’s currently spending on rent. The savings, she says, will make a real difference.
“I can take some of that pressure off of me and start to be able to save,” she says.
As rent continues to increase faster than wages, families are spending more and more of their budgets on housing. Right now, one in three Milwaukee renters spend half or more of their income on rent. After all the other monthly expenses are paid, that can make it nearly impossible to save for the future. To build and buy a new Milwaukee Habitat home, little to no down payment is required, closing costs are low, and the home loan will not exceed 30% of a family’s income – widely recognized as the threshold for affordable housing.
“That sense of security is really big, especially bringing a new child into this world,” says Stephanie. “It’ll provide generational wealth.”
Homeownership is a key driver for generational wealth creation in this country. It’s something Stephanie was keenly aware of as she looked to purchase her first home. However, when she went searching on the open market, she was discouraged by rising costs – both in sale prices and in financing.
“I have co-workers [who recently purchased homes] who are struggling with interest rates,” she says.
She’s also seeing homes go up tens of thousands of dollars over asking pricing as inventory trails behind demand. So, when she saw an ad for Milwaukee Habitat homeownership come up in her Facebook feed, it seemed like the perfect solution for her growing family.
“[Homeownership] felt so far out of reach,” she said. “Now, I can be settled and be focused on providing a better future for my kids.”