LaMar, 28, decided to move back to Indianapolis after six years of living the unpredictable life of a television news reporter. He longed for a sense of permanency. So, he did something that comes naturally to journalists – research.
“A one-bedroom, one-bath apartment is $700 to $900 a month. I’m not making that kind of money, so I started considering buying a home. But, as a first-time homebuyer, I had no clue how to buy a home and the process.”
Insert the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership® (INHP), a local resource dedicated to increasing affordable and sustainable housing opportunities for people in Marion County. INHP enabled LaMar to become a long-term, successful homeowner through one-on-one coaching, and classes about managing a household budget, credit and purchasing a home. Most classes are available in person, but LaMar chose to complete them online.
“Through homebuyer education, I learned what it takes to be a homeowner including the different loans available, how to pay my mortgage and the closing process. INHP doesn’t just want you to own a home. It wants to help you keep a home. Their advisers hold your hand through everything, from the time you fill out the online form, through closing and even after closing on the house.”
What is INHP?
INHP was established 30 years ago to help build thriving homeowners in Marion County. Since then, its mission has expanded to become a leading force in improving Indianapolis’ quality of life. Today, INHP serves a wide range of needs related to homeownership including access to low-interest, flexible mortgage loans, affordable home repair loans and home rehab programs. INHP is also a community catalyst, working within neighborhoods like the Near East, Crown Hill, Fountain Square, Riverside and everywhere else within I-465.
When you work with INHP, you won’t be pressured into buying a home. Instead, the nonprofit organization simply provides unbiased support through the homebuying process. If you need to work on your budget or fix your credit, INHP has professionals who can work one-on-one with you to keep you focused on your goal. INHP also partners with most area lenders so you can find a mortgage that meets your needs. Oftentimes, banks will offer special loan products only available through INHP.
Down payment assistance is available
Saving for a down payment can be one of the hardest hurdles of home buying. Instead of prescribing a 20 percent down payment, we look at your current financial picture – considering student loans, current debt and income – and determine affordability for the long-term. For those who qualify, INHP also offers down payment assistance to help jump start your savings.
A commitment to community
Because INHP believes in choice, LaMar worked independently with a real estate agent to find the perfect two-bedroom, two-bath home perfectly suited for his lifestyle. Not only was it the right house, it was the right neighborhood for him – Kennedy-King.
LaMar decided to live in the Kennedy-King neighborhood, located on the north side of downtown Indianapolis, because of its history. The revitalized neighborhood is named in honor of Robert Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King. It’s also the neighborhood where, in 1968, Kennedy was the first to deliver the tragic news to a stunned Indianapolis crowd that Dr. King had been assassinated. That history has compelled LaMar to help shape dreams for his neighborhood’s future.
“To be in the middle of this neighborhood that has so much history means a lot to me. I work with our neighborhood association, so I am sharing my ideas about how this community can thrive and succeed. We are doing a lot to bring this community back to what it once was,” he said.
Taking that leap
Homeownership is not for everyone; but, it’s something worth considering as you begin to take ownership in your community, build connections and experience the neighborhoods Indianapolis offers.
Today, LaMar encourages others to use INHP. He truly believes his home is an investment in his future, and has shared this resources with many of his family and friends.
“To those who are hesitant to take the first step on their homeownership journey or think they could never own a home, it’s hard to say you can’t when you have organizations like INHP to help you say, ‘I can.’”
To learn more about INHP, or to begin your homeownership journey, visit INHP.org.