In the summer of 2019, CBC Mortgage Agency conducted two mortgage industry studies among mortgage borrowers who used down-payment assistance (DPA) to purchase their home. Borrower study one (388 respondents) and study two (754 respondents) were separate surveys conducted among borrowers who were recipients of the Chenoa Fund DPA. CBC Mortgage Agency wanted to understand who and to what extent Chenoa Fund affects the lives of borrowers. The study will be released in a white paper entitled, “The State of Down Payment Assistance 2019.”
The first question asked respondents to self—identify their racial status.
Most Chenoa Fund borrowers self-identified as a minority. Next, borrowers were asked whether they or previous generations were the first to own a home. Over a third of the respondents said that they were the first generation to own a home.
Borrowers were also asked how long they would have had to wait to purchase a home had they not secured down payment assistance.
Over 66% of borrowers indicated that they would have been delayed three years or would have never secured a home.
Borrowers were asked if they would have been able to purchase their home without Chenoa Fund down payment assistance to which 93% said they could not have purchased a home without Chenoa Fund DPA.
Next, borrowers were asked who introduced them Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance. Over 75% of borrower’s primary learned about Chenoa Fund DPA from their loan officer.
In addition, borrowers were asked to whether they consider their mortgage affordable. Overwhelmingly, 92% considered their mortgage affordable.
When the borrower was asked if they would recommend a friend or family member to the Chenoa Fund down payment assistance, 98% responded yes.
Borrowers were asked to share what down payment assistance meant to them. Over 600 borrowers from forty-two states took the opportunity to share their thoughts. Sample responses follow grouped by what borrowers said most often.
48.6% of borrowers said that saving for a home was the main barrier they faced in being able to purchase a home.
“My husband and I have rented our whole lives together (twenty-six years), and we were so excited when Chenoa Fund made it possible to finally own a home! We made every sacrifice necessary to get the house of our dreams. They made sure we could financially afford the home and had us take a class on how to stay financially stable so that we can keep our home. We were so ready for this step, and we have never been happier with our beautiful home.” -Bonnie Johnson
“I am very appreciative of this program. Without this help, I would not have been able to buy my home. I live paycheck to paycheck, and it’s very hard to save money. With this program I now pay the same I was paying for rent but the home is mine.” -Elizabeth Allende
“Buying a home is a milestone in a person’s life; with it comes a great sense of accomplishment. When you want to purchase a home and are told it’s out of your reach it causes you to feel inferior and like a failure. Thanks to the down payment assistance program I was able to purchase a great home for my family after 5 years of trying and never being able to clear all the hurdles.” -Christine
“Being able to own a home (in our 40’s!) for the first time has given us security and a sense of belonging to the community. We were previously a homeless family, and worked our way out of the shelter in our own apartment. We lived there for seventeen years, and with rising rent, were never able to save up a down payment. Chenoa Fund allowed us to purchase a home and a place that our son can feel is permanent.” —Claudia Camarillo-Dievendorf
28.1% of borrowers said having a home provides them a real sense of accomplishment, well-being and/or security.
“Our small family has been beyond thrilled with the first nine months of homeownership, and we couldn’t have done it without your assistance! As a child, I was never blessed with a stress-free environment, or even a guaranteed place to call home. Thanks to the Chenoa Fund, it puts my mind at ease knowing my disabled husband and toddler will never have to think or wonder where home will be next month. They’ll never have to choose between a full belly or a warm blanket, and I can’t thank you enough for that! Let alone, the accomplishment one feels from owning their first home. Thank you, Chenoa Fund, from the bottom of our hearts!” —Holly Dockstader
“Being a home buyer allowed me to be in a better environment and a better circumstance to be able to keep being employed. I would have lost my job because I was too far from my work and in an apartment I barely slept because of the noise. My health is better, and I’m more sociable. This may seem minor, but property managers are the worst: they do very little to assure your safety and.” —Quincia Berry
“We would not have been able to purchase our home without down payment assistance provided by Chenoa. We have owned our home for one year now, have never made a late payment, have made home improvements, and have built our credit, and Chenoa’s down payment assistance gave us the jump start we needed.” —Kati
“At the time I started looking for a house, me and my family were living in a dangerous neighborhood. A lot of break ins and robberies started taking place in the community. I have four kids and I was so afraid for their safety. I had just landed a new job and didn’t have enough money saved just yet to make a down payment. By being able to receive this fund which was definitely a gift from God I moved my family to a new community which was much safer and quiet.” —Carl Williams
“Owning a home makes me feel as I belong somewhere. I moved from an unsafe apartment building to a cute little house I can call my own. The Chenoa Fund program made it possible for me to buy a home in a neighborhood that’s much safer for me.” —Cindy Rhoads
15.1% of borrowers said down payment was the only option for a single parent.
“I feel it’s a dream to some, a dream that many people would not be able to achieve without this type of programs. I’m a single mother of two that participated in the Section 8 program when my eldest child was younger. I was able to attend my local community college and obtain a degree which significantly increased my income. Without the down payment assistance, I would not have been able to purchase my first home, despite nearly tripling my income since becoming a nurse. I was not able to save enough money for a significant down payment.”
“Programs like this give people, that defeat the odds of poverty, an opportunity to achieve home ownership. I am grateful a program like this exists; it has made my dream of home ownership a reality.” —Doni Anders
“It’s important for me to provide a stable home for my children as a single parent. I found the Chenoa Fund to be of great help in securing my home compared to what other people have told me about their FHA loans. I couldn’t have done this without them, and I’m so thankful to them. I think it’s good that they follow up to see how everything is going, and if there is anything they can do and they offer advice. Please allow them to continue!!” —Shmim Capewell
8.2% of borrowers said down payment assistance helped them escape ever increasing rent.
“Rent in the Tampa Bay area has gone sky-high—can no longer afford to rent—kept having to move my elderly mother and myself, which is expensive and difficult. Buying seemed the only affordable option, but I was unsure of how to pay closing costs, down payment, etc. Without this fund, I would have never been able to buy a place. I am so grateful for it, and for the fact that I feel we can unpack and not to have to move again in a year or two. Please keep this fund in place to help others!” —David
“I live in a city where housing is very expensive. I was locked in the rental cycle and had to settle for subpar housing in a less than desirable neighborhood. Every year the rent would increase, outdistancing my salary increases, making it harder to save a suitable down payment to purchase a home. Chenoa Fund helped me bridge that gap. I was able to purchase a home for my family with their assistance. They stayed in touch with me throughout my first year, offering support and advice, helping to make the transition as smooth as possible. I am a forever fan of Chenoa Fund and have referred others who, like myself, desire the security of home ownership.” —Darlene Griffin Times
“When you own a home, you are putting your money into something for you. Owning a home allows you not to be taken advantage of paying high over-priced rents that are currently out of control, which keeps you down, and makes it totally impossible to save for a down payment. Without the help from Chenoa Funds I would not have been able to buy my home. Thank you so very much, forever grateful. ” —Ronald Breeden