Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services will celebrate it's 41st year of service next month, Monday April 9th. This is an organization that is all about improving the quality of life for homeowners and first-time buyers in Ithaca, New York. I am a client who can talk the talk! When I first moved into my older, out-of-level South Hill home on a steep slope, I thought, hey, no problem! 40 year old furnace, no worries! 20 year old windows with flimsy bent screens - pshawwww!! Well, after living in the house for only 4 months, I was ready to sell it! But I found a MUCH better solution to my woes when I heard, through INHS, about the NYSERDA weatherization and energy efficiency programs for homes JUST LIKE MINE! And, for people with incomes, also JUST LIKE MINE! It was 2007 and I was newly licensed to sell real estate in the great state of New York. The market was at a standstill and I had virtually no income that year. I was floored! For no money out of my own pocket, I could have a professional team of people study my house for energy consumption and loss, and make recommendations based on their findings. SIGN ME UP! And they did. I was eager to get started with the loan program that they offered - very low interest, great terms. But, I found out much to my chagrin that I did NOT qualify for the loan I needed at that time.
Wow, that was a reality check. I cried. I couldn't believe I didn't qualify for the loan on my own, after spending the last 10 years working as hard as I had. I had great credit. Had owned a home before. But I failed to take into account my recent relocation and job changes, and what this meant to lenders who were looking at my viability. So, Pam Webster (who has since retired with honors) let me sit there in her office and cry it out of my system a little bit, and what happened next really blew me away. Because I didn't qualify for their loan program, I was going to be placed in the grant program! I didn't get it at first, but I realized soon after that I was going to be on the receiving end of one of the most generous gifts I've ever been given - nearly $20,000 worth of improvements to my home, supervised by Greg Yetsko who was the construction manager then. All the work would be completed within roughly 3 months all told. This grant program would be "forgiveable" gradually over time - meaning that if I stayed in the house for at least 5 years, it would be wiped out completely. Wow. This rocked my world.
I have since gone on to work very hard in my real estate business and supplement my income teaching yoga at various clubs in our community. And, every chance I get, I am proud to be able to speak to the First-Time Home Buyers classes that Ann Dipetta now runs throughout the calendar year. It's a real joy to share the story of my own experience as a client of INHS, with students who are next in line to purchase a home. The organization does a fine fine job with the resources they have. I encourage you to attend their 41st annual luncheonin April to see what they are all about!
Reporting from Ithaca, NY, where it is 30º and more snow is expected!
The SHORT REPORT, by SANTOS
Agent Santos reporting
**Originally posted in 2010, and updated for 2018