18 Months to Home Ownership

18 Months to Home Ownership

The title to the Rio Rancho home sits on the living room table. Beverly Aranda, a single mother of two, reflects on her accomplishments in the last 18 months.

“We didn’t have a solid foundation. We had always rented and water bills were $160,” says Beverly. Struggling to live with her disabilities, Beverly met with Michael Lacomb from Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) to help her overcome her challenges, and Michael introduced Beverly to Prosperity Work’s Individual Development Account (IDA) Program.  “My initial thought was ‘Yeah!’” remembers Beverly.  Now Beverly is one of the biggest cheerleaders in New Mexico for saving money.

“The program has made me stronger in my faith and believing in myself.  I know I have to save… it’s not an option,” says Beverly. “I knew I had to buy a home and I didn’t know how. Trying to save when every penny is already spent is difficult. My Dad matched me every dollar I saved, [because] he didn’t want me to continue renting.  Now I have something to leave my kids.”

Beverly reflects how far she’s come, despite her challenges. “I know how to deal with the bank and with lenders.  I realize that a lot of people deal with email – it’s up to me to check my email.  Communication depends on me, and staying on top of it.”

“For a long time, I felt invisible in the system.  I have to look out for me. No one else is going to,” says Beverly.

The biggest challenge for Beverly was contributing to her account; at one point during the IDA program, Beverly lost her job. She also struggled with the deposit process, as only a few people at the bank knew about an IDA.  “I had to know who to talk to, and deal directly with that person,” says Beverly. “I now know the support is out there, you have to look for it.” Despite these hurdles, Beverly was able to save up for a home in a year and a half through the IDA program.

Now, Beverly is a proud homeowner and is excited to keep adding to her house, like planting a garden. Beverly is also looking forward to sending her daughter Brianna off to college next fall. Brianna plans to attend New Mexico State University, and Beverly is encouraging her to also open up an IDA so she can save for her college education.