Twenty-five years – what a feat! United Housing has served the Mid-South for a quarter of a century and I could not be more proud to be part of this organization. Our team has accomplished a great deal over the years and made a lasting impact on the lives of many in Memphis. Below are a few key figures our tireless work has helped us reach.

  • $1.78 million in loans have been given to clients since UHI started its lending program in 2016.
  • 10,128 people participated in Homebuyer Education.
  • 878 families avoided foreclosure with the help of UHI.
  • 353 clients purchased a home.
  • 60 new homes have been built.

I have an enormous passion for UHI’s mission, sparked by the painstaking dedication I saw Tim Bolding exhibit when he was in my shoes as founder and executive director. The mission that he laid out for this organization is one that I have the utmost respect for and one that I hope UHI will carry out for another 25 years and then another 25 after that. To put it simply, he was an unbelievable leader – kind, driven, relentless – and UHI would not be what it is today without him. We miss him every day, but his spirit lives on in the work our team continues to do for the Mid-South.

The organization was designed to be a “one-stop-shop” for financial literacy, mortgage lending and real estate development. We do so much of that well, but it’s in the lending where I think we can really expand. With the Cherry Mortgage and Home Renovation Loan products, we’ve already made great strides in this arena, but there is still room to grow. Additionally, UHI has always had a strong homeownership mission, and we’ll continue to support that. But I hope to grow a quality rental program where we can transition individuals to ownership through financial education and credit counseling. Aside from that, I’d love to increase donor engagement and strengthen those relationships, giving them a chance to fully understand where their generous donations are going – and ensure they see how appreciative we are of their contribution.

With 25 years under our belt, we’re looking ahead to the next quarter of a century. Our team has ambitious goals – goals that will take UHI to new places and greater heights, all to ensure we can support more Mid-South families as they navigate toward homeownership. 

Sincerely, 
Amy Schaftlein 
United Housing Executive Director

Happy National Homeownership Month! Owning a home can cause you to be filled with questions you had never even thought to ask before. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ve answered a few burning homeownership questions below:

  1. What’s better about buying than renting?
    A home is an investment. When you make your monthly mortgage payments, the money is going toward something that can serve you and your family for years. While renting is a great option for many, especially for small periods of time, when you rent, your money doesn’t go toward an investment into your future. The money you use for rent payments is gone forever just as other everyday transactions.
  1. I’ve always heard you need 20% for a downpayment, is that true?
    While 20% down has been the tried and true recommendation, it’s actually not needed, and not always the best option. You shouldn’t have to save for years and years before you can even think about making that down payment. There are many loan programs specifically for first-time homebuyers, and even some through the government, that allow you to put down as little as 5% or less.
  1. How does my credit affect buying a home?
    The better your credit score, the lower the interest rate your lender will give you. While a low credit score doesn’t prevent you from buying a home, it could require you to make higher payments than you had originally expected.
  1. Should I use a real estate agent?
    Using a real estate agent is a great idea. Not only does a Realtor help you with the whole process, but he or she can assist you in the most important step — price negotiation.
  1. What other costs, other than mortgage payments, should I think about?
    Unfortunately your mortgage won’t be the only charge you’ll have to worry about when it comes to the homebuying process. There are several extra costs that come along with being a first-time homebuyer, such as moving costs, repair costs and closing costs.

With all the unfamiliarity homebuying can bring, we know we didn’t cover every single one of your FAQs. That’s why United Housing offers homebuyer education courses and other resources that will give you the knowledge and tools you need to embark on the journey of buying your first home. Contact us today to find out more.

However — if you have a burning question you need answered ASAP, comment below and we’ll help!

Picking a home that will suit your needs now and in the future

When buying a home, everyone is looking for what serves their needs at their current stage of life. Of course, no one is going to purchase a house that negatively affects the way they live now. However, something that many potential homeowners don’t consider is what their needs will be later on. Life can change and fast! That’s why it’s a good idea to think long-term before purchasing a home. What future needs may arise? Will your family grow? Do you have an aging loved one who may have trouble with a multilevel abode?

Location
A location may seem perfect for your present situation, but what if that changes? For example, you may find a house that isn’t close to anything you usually frequent, but you sacrifice that because it is right next door to your job and you can’t pass it up. What if you change jobs one day? Or, what if your job moves office spaces? Try not to let  current employment keep you from the location you want to live in now so you aren’t stuck in the future.

Future Projects
Be careful buying a home with features you don’t like solely based on the idea that you will renovate it in the future. Things you think you will have time for now may not always end up being feasible. Life and all the busyness that comes with it can sometimes get in the way.

Size
A home that may seem to be the perfect size now could end up feeling quite the opposite down the road. Be sure you keep in mind whether or not you might have children or even a relative joining you, as that may require an extra bedroom or two. People are not the only thing that can make your space seem like it’s closing in on you. If you work from home with a job that is increasingly demanding, you could end up needing more “office” space. In addition, consider yard size. Do you envision having a furry friend that would need space to run and play?

Resale
You may think this is the place you will live forever, but you never know, which is why it’s important to always consider a home’s value in terms of resale. Look at it through the lens of the average homebuyer instead of just in terms of you and your family.


House for sale
Affordability
A mortgage payment that seems mostly doable now could turn into a real stressor on your budget. When looking to buy a home, make sure the mortgage payments and other fees are payable in any situation, for example, temporary unemployment, unexpected medical bills, etc. Wishful thinking isn’t always the best to cling to when it comes to home payments.

These are just a few things you need to consider before signing on the dotted line. Just remember, when it comes to buying a home that’s going to be with you for a while, the future is just as important as the present.

Get rid of wintry gloom and embrace the fresh feel and bright colors of spring! Give the exterior of your home some seasonal TLC when the season changes with these outdoor rehab ideas.

Entryway
First impressions can be tough, so make them easier by giving your home’s entryway a more welcoming feel. Start by adding a fresh finish or new handle to your door. Spruce up the path leading up to your door by introducing some stepping stones or new potted plants. Next, grant a new coat of paint to your mailbox or fix that dent that’s been there for too long! Think about replacing your house numbers with shinier ones or polishing the existing ones.

Landscaping
Photo Sep 15 11 11 57 AM copyDon’t let things get too rough around the hedges. When adding new, beautiful flowers or plants to the outside of your home, remember to trim tree branches and bushes, as well as pull weeds. If you don’t have much of a green thumb, consider choosing low-maintenance plants that still spruce things up. Additionally, maintain a mowed and watered lawn so the grass is greener on your side.

Maintenance
Outdoor maintenance isn’t as fun as planting a rose bush, but it’s even more important because it improves your home’s curbside appeal and longevity. Clean the gutters, fix concrete cracks and remove cobwebs or smudges from exterior windows. Inspect the safety levels of outdoor fixtures, such as the sturdiness of railings and fences, or trees close in proximity to electrical lines. Keep an eye out for water leakage and broken shingles.Fixing small things now could save the headache later.

Final touches
Lights can make the world of difference in brightening (literally and figuratively) your home’s exterior. The addition of a new light or lamp to your porch can give it a glowing and more homey appearance. How about some front door décor? Try a fun wreath or a cute welcome mat. These inviting touches are usually relatively inexpensive and easy to find. Finally, try some outdoor spring cleaning. Old items in your garage or a patio chair that you rarely use are all things that might be better elsewhere and can reduce the possibility of a cluttered-looking exterior.
Welcome

Let these tips help you to reflect the excitement of spring on your home! It’s the perfect time to amplify curbside appeal.

If you find yourself waking up this morning with a roof over your head and a bed in which to sleep, consider yourself fortunate! Home insecurity is a difficult reality for many members of our community, and a severe lack of affordable, decent housing is partly to blame.

There’s no need to feel any guilt. We would love for everyone to wake up in their warm beds, especially during this winter season! But we do want you to recognize how fortunate you are while thinking about how you can help others overcome housing insecurity.

So, what can you do to help support the development of affordable housing in Memphis? First, you can share your knowledge with your friends and neighbors. If you know families who are renting and think homeownership may not be an option for them, let them know about United Housing. We can supply the knowledge that families need to actualize their dream of homeownership.

Next, be sure to vote! Many organizations like United Housing receive government support that makes our program possible. Without this support, we’re limited in how much aide we can provide to families. Your candidates, especially local officials, might also take stances on development in your community and city. Consider candidate positions on housing and development when you head to the polls.

Finally, you can make an enormous impact by becoming a regular donor to United Housing. As a not-for-profit organization, we invest every penny beyond our operational costs into programs that support families striving toward homeownership, and we even build affordable homes for families to purchase! When you support United Housing with a one-time or recurring gift, you’re investing in families, the education of children, the revitalization of neighborhoods and a reduction in crime, all of which are impacted when we have more homeowners in our community.

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P: +1 901.272.1122

2750 Colony Park Drive
Memphis, TN 38118

 

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Monday-Thursday – 8:00am to 4:30pm
Friday – 8:00am to 3:30pm
Saturday-Sunday - Closed

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