CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It's the American dream to own your own home and there's a program turning that dream into a reality for many people in charlotte
"I was so excited because it was not just anything that I was getting it was my thing, it was my house," said Ismenia who works as medical assistant. She has for the past three years.
She says she has the income to make mortgage payments but has been forced to rent.
"I'm wasting all this money why can't I put it into something that belongs to me."
What she didn't have was the know how to manage her money, to save up for a that all-important down payment.
It's where the nonprofit program Community Link steps in.
Harold Rice is the organization's chief program officer. He says the organization "partners with the city of Charlotte and the House Charlotte program where they give up to $7500 for some 140 neighborhoods for down payment assistance and closing costs."
"And that's a loan that is forgivable after 10 years."
Ismenia began her path towards home ownership by taking advantage of some of the classes Community Link offers.
"She goes over your credit report and she tells you all the things that you need to change modify pay off," said Ismenia.
"Once she gets to a point in her credit score and her debt income ratio we'll link her up with a lender," added Rice.
And Community Link arms costumers with important budgeting information to make sure they are able to stay in the home through all the ups and downs of ownership.
"She even told me this is the house you need to go to have a comfortable rent or mortgage payment," said Ismenia.
"Our goal is not for people to be house poor we want them to be able to move in to their home and still continue a lifestyle," said Rice.
What's even better, Ismenia says she's actually saving money being a home owner.
"I rented a room so actually by renting a room I'm paying half of my mortgage already," said Ismenia.
There is a cap on how much you can spend on a home. No more than 147 thousand dollars
But if you are buying home that's more than that www.communitylink-nc.org says you can still use their services. They're just another set of eyes and ears in the loan and home buying process.