On a chilly, gray morning, under the shadow of the still challenging Nevada economy, more than 70 people gathered in the beautiful Nevada State Capitol building to share with each other why it remains so important to keep the dream of homeownership alive. In the majestic and historic Old Assembly Chambers, homeowners, realtors, and lenders active in USDA Rural Development Direct and Guaranteed Home loan programs participated in a two part event, as Nevada Rural Development State Director Sarah Adler put it: “recognition and revenue.”
Jeff Bishop, a homeowner from Washoe County, won the heart of the crowd with his simple eloquence. Jeff is a high school janitor, a musician, a family man. His wife Brooke and their two daughters, Emma and Rose, stood proudly by him, grinning, showing off their hand-drawn poster of their new home.
Jeff read aloud what homeownership means. “No more moving around; a yard for a dog; security for my family.” There is emotion in his voice, this is hard stuff to say in front of 70 strangers.
Working with the USDA theme of Rural Housing – Rural Jobs, for the first time Nevada made a concentrated effort to reach out to partners in the Guaranteed Program, and what a success it was! Lenders nominated realtors for recognition. Realtors talked about how well the programs work, and how their clients love it. Lenders were applauded for stepping up. Altogether more than 50 industry professionals took part in the event.
Knowing that the economic downturn has affected so many in the real estate industry, State Director Adler noted to those present how vital they all are to building community, as well as the synergy between government-funded or guaranteed mortgages and their positive economic impact on the real estate profession and the larger economy.
“In Nevada during the last two fiscal years we financed 1,264 home mortgages; using data from the National Association of Realtors on the economic impact of home sales, we are able to estimate that the economic activity generated as a result is over $30 million dollars, with more than $15 million of that streaming directly to the real estate industry,” she said.
She took the opportunity to surprise Zeeta Augella, the area Rural Development Specialist, with a State Director “Going the Extra Mile Award”. She spoke of Zeeta’s tenacity to complete housing deals, to use the USDA home repair program in combination with the Direct Program, and her ability to put her customers first. “Zeeta exemplifies the very best of what I want our staff to do to help the customer. She goes the extra mile, and she does it every day.”
It was apparent by the enthusiasm in the room that USDA Rural Development’s affordable home loan program is an answer for many: homeowners, real estate professionals, and lenders alike.
By the time the event was over, the spring morning chill was gone, the sky had opened a little and the sun was shining through. The dream is still alive.
To find out how USDA’s homeownership programs can help you reach your goals, click here.