Article By: Jim Porter – July 3, 2023
My mom and dad raised seven of us in the Sunset District of San Francisco. In 1970, my folks had been renting a two-bedroom flat for eight years – a “flat” is what we call a duplex in the City.
We lived in the downstairs flat above the garage and over the eight years, my grandma and grandpa rented upstairs for the first few years till they bought a house in Foster City in 1967 and then a mellow hippie couple from Haight Ashbury moved in up above us.
My parents had four boys in a row till my sister was born in 1969. My mom and dad gave Suzanne their bedroom, moved to the fold-out couch in the living room and my three brothers and I shared bunkbeds in our room. The hippies must have smoked a lot of Columbian Gold weed upstairs because I do not remember them being bothered by our constant loud noise downstairs.
In 1970, my parents bought a 1,700-square-foot three-bedroom house around the corner from our flat for $32,500, with a $3,000 loan from my grandpa because my mom and dad had very little savings for the down payment, which is almost always the problem for first time homebuyers. Their house payment was $100 more per month than the rent they were paying, and my dad was scared to death, but I guess he wanted to have more kids and the fold-out couch was cramping his goals. So they pulled the trigger and bought the house.
My dad took on a second full-time job in 1970 and, by 1974, had boy No. 5 and girl No. 2. We were never rich, but we had a very good life, and I believe one of the reasons was the stability of home ownership along with my parents staying together through thick and thin. Children need a stable home and loving parents.
Many first-time homebuyers today do not have parents or grandparents with money to assist with a down payment. Thankfully, we have a fantastic down-payment assistance program available today for first time homebuyers with FICO scores above 640 and household income below $215,000. This solves the down payment problem for our children and our grandkids and for those of you that have kids renting because of their FICO scores, get their butts moving on a FICO score improvement and financial coaching program with a quality local lender or financial advisor.
My team just closed a CALHFA loan for a couple and their three kids who, only eight months ago, had a 582 FICO score and no hope. Now the three kids have a nice back yard to play in, four blocks from their school.
Jim Porter, NMLS No. 276412, is the branch manager of Solano Mortgage, NMLS No. 1515497, a division of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation, NMLS No. 1850, licensed in California by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the CRMLA / Equal Housing Opportunity. Jim can be reached at 707-449-4777.
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