First-time homebuyer feels the freedom of ownership
After the residents of the Lakes Region Co-op manufactured home community bought their park with assistance from the Community Loan Fund, they elected Lois Parris as their first treasurer. A couple years later, Lois’s granddaughter, Lois Cilley, got a Welcome Home Loan from the Community Loan Fund to buy a home in the same community.
Lois Cilley: My uncle built the home I’m in and I wanted to buy it when the opportunity came up. It was tough. To qualify for a loan at the Community Loan Fund, I had to get rid of my credit cards and put more money in savings. My boyfriend and I needed a certain amount to close on the house. I never thought that I’d own a home. Now that I am a homeowner, I have a lot of responsibility. I have a lot of equity. Eventually, I want to sell and own a piece of land and build a home.
Lois Parris: I think it’s a great opportunity for her to start homeownership at an early age.
Lois Cilley: I was paying more for an apartment than I am for my mortgage.
Lois Parris: New Hampshire has the third highest rent in the United States. Even to buy a house without a foundation is hard. I am proud of her. And to be head of the Grievance Committee! It’s a big step to put yourself out where you can get hurt.
Lois Cilley: Gram’s had an influence on me. I see how active she is here.
Lois Parris: She’s influenced me too. But I never thought of myself as an activist and I still don’t. I am just a person who sees something wrong that needs to be right. I have changed a lot. Now that my family’s grown up, I am freed up to do more. Being involved with MOTA and the Community Loan Fund has helped. I never thought I’d be talking at the State House, meeting with all of those people. It’s been satisfying to know that I’m helping people to live in a nicer environment.
Lois Cilley: I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I wouldn’t live here if it wasn’t a co-op and I’m going to work to make sure it stays that way.
Lois Parris: My favorite part of living here is the freedom of ownership. When we first bought the park, I remember my first feeling, that no one could take this away from me. I owned it.
Lois Cilley: My favorite part of living here is there is no bustle. No traffic. And I live close to my grandparents.
This story was published in the Community Loan Fund’s 2007 annual report.