Her first home, close to home
Young worker’s manufactured home is perfectly affordable
How badly did Nisha Negron want to buy a home of her own?
Badly enough to work six 12-hour shifts a week for nearly two months to earn the down payment.
After sharing an apartment, then staying with a relative in Littleton, 27-year-old Nisha was ready for her own home. She used her COVID recovery time in January scouring the North Country listings for a house for sale close to her machine operator job in Lincoln.
Watch a video about Nisha Negron
She spotted a manufactured home in Fox Hill Cooperative, 10 minutes from her workplace. The listing said “sale pending,” but she emailed the Realtor anyway. Weeks later, a message landed in her inbox. Several buyers had been unable to get ﬁnancing. Was she still interested?
A recent study found that manufactured homes are the only new houses in the U.S. that cost less than $125,000. So it’s no surprise that the percentage of homebuyers under age 45—often ﬁrst-timers like Nisha—is climbing.
Thinking she could get a bank loan, Nisha was told she needed a $30,000 down payment. “I haven’t got a penny saved. I have nothing at that point. And I said, ‘Yeah , I’m not gonna be able to afford this.’ ”
An hour later, her phone rang. The bank’s loan ofﬁcer suggested Nisha try the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund. She did, learned she needed less than $3,500 down for a Welcome Home Loan, and went to work, literally.
Nisha gives huge credit to the help of Mortgage Loan Originator Ron Thompson in getting her from application to loan. “I couldn’t have done it without his support and late-night phone calls. He went out of his way to help, and I could not be more grateful. I tell everyone about the program and always give out Ron’s name. He is the best,” she says.
She closed on her house April 1. “It’s perfect,” she says. She loves being in a neighborhood, having a shed for her new motor trike, and being able to renovate her rooms.
“It’s an awesome feeling. I’ve never been proud of myself, but I could not be more proud of myself right now,” she says.
“I just feel so good!”
Extra help is invisible, but necessary for homebuyers
Our goal is to get everyone who applies for a Welcome Home Loan into an affordable manufactured home.
At a time when people with low incomes are priced out of the housing market, manufactured homes are their only options both for homeownership and housing they can afford.
Some potential borrowers who come to us have poor credit or no credit. Some who could afford a house payment don’t have the savings to cover a down payment and closing costs. And some are already feeling crushed under student or auto loans, or credit card debt.
So our mortgage lenders are puzzle masters who work with applicants to improve their finances, then lock together pieces from grants and other options to make the loan affordable.
Mortgage Loan Originator Ron Thompson combined our standard fixed-rate loan with down payment assistance that covered Nisha’s closing costs, and a first-time homebuyer tax credit from New Hampshire Housing, which means she gets a federal tax rebate each year until she pays off her loan.
Those extra efforts are often invisible to borrowers, but many wouldn’t achieve homeownership without them.
This article was published in the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund’s 2022 annual report.