New homeowner Randy Russell: “I didn’t think homeownership was possible … talking to Nicole Lopez and Brenda Acosta gave me hope”

Randy Russell was tired of living in an apartment, and was ready to start down the path to homeownership. So he walked into the Wells Fargo branch in Riverside, California, where he met home mortgage consultant Brenda Acosta. With Brenda’s help, Randy got preapproved and was ready to start looking for homes. After initially looking at a condo (which didn’t pan out because of insurance issues with the homeowners association), he later found a home that he thought was ideal, only to have the deal fall through at the last minute because of a power of attorney and title issues with the seller.

He admits now that he was ready to give up. “I was getting a little frustrated,” he said, “especially with the small amount of inventory in my price range.”

Understanding the market and Randy’s needs, Brenda advised him to expand his search by looking into down payment assistance programs. She brought in her colleague, home mortgage consultant Nicole Lopez, who is certified to work with down payment assistance programs.

“Randy had savings built up for his down payment,” said Nicole, “but we started working together to get him qualified for other programs. Doing that opens up so many more options in your home search.”

With Nicole’s assistance, Randy said he was ready to dive back into the market. This time, his search had a happy ending.

“We actually wound up finding a home that was better than we had imagined,” said Randy, who closed in late February, partly with the help of Neighborhood LIFT and California HFA down payment assistance grants. “I’m very happy it turned out the way it did. I didn’t think it was possible until I talked to Nicole about all the down payment options.”

Randy added that he’s “very thankful for Brenda and Nicole. They are both very knowledgeable about the process and they stayed positive.