It’s hard to believe a whole year has passed since we moved into our new home! We owe the fabulous non-profit Proud Ground for the amazing opportunity. When I first moved to Portland 5+ years ago, I noticed houses with “Proud Ground” signs in front indicating the home was for sale. I looked into Proud Ground and found an amazing program for first-time home buyers who fit into a particular income bracket (make enough money to pay a mortgage, but low enough income to qulify for the grants).
I had my initial meeting with someone 4 years ago and placed my name on the LIST. We first looked at the home pictured above in January 2015 and 6 months later, we had the keys. Constantly hearing horror stories about the rental market in Portland (and the buyer’s market), I’m SO thankful for our home. Not only is our mortgage less than what we were paying in rent, we are home-owners, which is a pretty great feeling providing a lot of security.
From the Proud Ground website:
Proud Ground gives families with stable jobs and steady incomes the chance to buy their first home—affordably. We serve families who can qualify for a home loan, just not one at market rate. And because Proud Ground homes are forever-affordable, family after family has access to the stability and wealth-building that come with homeownership, and our region has a growing supply of homes that are affordable for generations to come.
At the time I got on the LIST I was still looking for employment, obviously not in a position to purchase a home, but the sooner you get on the list, the sooner you move toward the top. When a home becomes available, you fill out a form of interest. If you are at the top of the list, and you qualify for the loan, the home is yours (basically).
We bought this home for way under market value, so it was affordable to us. The catch, if and when we sell the house, it stays in the program so it’s affordable for the next buyer. Although we will make some money if we sell, we can’t turn around and sell it for a huge profit on the open market.
The gem of this program – keeping affordable homes in neighborhoods for generations!
We said farewell to the Kenton neighborhood in North Portland, a place we watched become the new hot spot in Portland, and said hello to the Lents neighborhood (about as far away from Kenton as possible and still live in Portland). We had our trepidations about moving to what seemed like “so far away,” but we kept hearing about Lents being the next big thing, and we had faith it would be fabulous.
Funny, my daughter and I volunteered for her 8th grade project at the Lents International Farmers Market the summer of 2014 – so a little foreshadowing I suppose.
We spent the first year settling in and getting the inside organized with new Energy Star appliances, drapes on the windows etc. and we experienced all those fabulous firsts! First holidays, first storms, first seasons…
This spring we started working on the yard. We basically have a blank slate, so the opportunities are endless and fun (although a little overwhelming). I figure it’s one project at a time. We want to eventually get rid of the grass in the front and plant natives (that don’t require watering) and build a rain garden. I also want to begin my rain barrel collection soon on all the gutters.
Our big project this spring: building vegetable beds!
We participated in our first Sunday Parkways in the new hood! The route was only a block from the house, and even the pouring down rain didn’t stop us (or my big belly).
I want to extend a huge thank you to all the dedicated folks at Proud Ground for making the dream of home-buying a reality for us and dozens of other families. We look forward to many more years here and watching the Lents community blossom.
Please check out the Proud Ground website and schedule a free consultation to learn more! https://proudground.org/