Customer Stories

203(k) Loan Helps Newlyweds Transform Their First Home

September 27, 2013

We always love hearing positive feedback from our clients. Here’s a recent story from Whitney and Andrew Standhardt, a newlywed couple who recently purchased their first home in Michigan. We helped them secure a 203(k) loan so they could make renovations and updates necessary to make their new home feel like their own. 

As recent transplants from Chicago, accustomed to renting in a big city, my husband Andrew and I were excited about the opportunity to own our own home in Michigan. Although this was our first time buying a house, and working with a mortgage company, Ross Mortgage made the complex process of purchasing a home easy to navigate, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the level of service we received. 

I initially heard about Ross Mortgage through my previous boss’ mother. One day, I had mentioned to her in passing that Andrew and I wanted to start the process of looking for a home, but didn’t know where to begin or what a mortgage would entail. She reached out, touched my hand and said, “That is what I do. I would love to help both of you. If at any time you have any questions, let me know.” She ended up walking us through the entire process, and needless to say, her knowledge was the key to our positive experience. Her name is Jackie Corazza, and she helped make all of our homeownership dreams come true.

As a newly married couple buying our first home, we wanted to have the ability to make renovations so our new house would feel more like “our own.” The bungalow we decided to buy functioned as a sturdy two-bedroom home with an unfinished third bedroom and a semi-finished basement. Although the upstairs bedroom was already framed with functioning electrical, air and windows, it was obvious there had not been any renovations since its construction in 1956.

We wanted to add our own contemporary style and increase our property value by re-doing the kitchen, completing the upstairs bedroom, adding a half bath and installing a privacy fence around the backyard property line. However, at the time, I was finishing dental school and we were truly a single salary income. Given our situation, we knew we didn’t have additional money to put toward “out-of-pocket” renovations after purchasing the home.

Upon expressing our desire and concern, Jackie asked if we had heard about the FHA 203(k) Loan Program. She explained that with a 203(k) loan, we would be able to finance a house and complete our desired renovations under a single mortgage loan! This meant that we wouldn’t have to exhaust our personal savings to cover the cost of renovations.

Although we are generally skeptical consumers, there was never a doubt in our mind that our Compliance Manager, Jackie Corazza, and our Loan Officer, Jenny Miller, were always working with our best interests at heart and making sure every detail was completed so our 203(k) loan application was accepted.

With the additional $30,000 we were able to add to our mortgage for home improvements, we were able to:

  • Completely transform our kitchen.
  • Tear out the separating wall between the kitchen and dining room.
  • Add wood flooring to match the original wood flooring in the house.
  • Sand and stain original wood flooring.
  • Install brand new custom cabinetry, full granite countertops with a peninsula extension, a deep basin sink and faucet, 10 recessed lights and an extra water line for the refrigerator.
  • Complete the unfinished upstairs bedroom by adding insulation, drywall, new carpet, recessed lighting and full paint.
  • Construct a dual closet in the upstairs bedroom.
  • Add plumbing for a half bath with frosted glass windows, pedestal sink, new toilet, tile and air vents.
  • Add a privacy fence to define the backyard property line.

After everything was completed, our house had undergone a complete transformation. But by making use of its structural integrity, and focusing our renovations on two main rooms, we were able to completely update our home and significantly increase its value. We are very happy with our home and highly recommend Ross Mortgage to any new or seasoned home shopper looking to obtain a 203(k) loan.

Check out the before and after photos from Whitney and Andrew’s bungalow below:

rossmortgagecorp's 203k Loan Transformation album on Photobucket