Susan Rowe: Home Trust of Skagit’s First Home Purchase
I never thought it a possibility that I would ever own my own home which makes my story even more remarkable and fills me with gratitude.
Since my college days I have lived and rented in many places including San Francisco during the sixties, a mountain cabin in northern California, cute cottages in small towns, and an apartment in Seattle and more recently in Mount Vernon. Sometimes I moved out of choice but more often it was of necessity when my rental was sold or the rent rose. Once I had bulldozers demolishing the house next to mine so that my house shook or people looking in my windows to get a closer look at the house they might purchase.
I left California after the daycare where I worked for many years closed and the property I lived on was sold. In Seattle I had a fresh start in a new job I enjoyed until the contract job ended. I thought I would find another job quickly but I didn’t. After three years of being underemployed I accepted a job in Mount Vernon. A month later I was let go and for the first time in my life had no income and with out any social network to help me. I relied on my credit cards to avoid becoming homeless. I then saw an ad in the paper for a job program at Work Source and through them I was referred to Community Action. I worked in the Volunteer Center and later became an AmeriCorps VISTA developing the 1-800-volunteer.org website which led to my employment.
I learned about all the programs at Community Action including Home Trust of Skagit. It was an interesting idea so I tucked it away in my thought. After living in my duplex for eight years my landlord called one night to say she was going to sell the property. We had discussed the possibility of my buying the duplex but the price was way out of my range. I had treated it like my own home but once again I was going to be uprooted like the plants I had tenderly planted. So I asked Dave Malsed about Home Trust of Skagit, looked at the requirements, was free of debt and applied for a loan. I was thrilled when I was approved! Later when I met with a lawyer to discuss my legal obligations with the Land Trust, I realized it was the same building where I had filed for bankruptcy years before. This was a real fork in the road experience as I turned to the left to meet the lawyer instead of to the right into the bankruptcy office.
Then began the work of looking for a house with Randy Torset, of Preview Properties, and learning the process of buying a home. It was sometimes like the mountain roads I used to live on with unexpected turns and delays but Dave and my realtor were always there to patiently guide me until we found the right home for me. I moved in right before Thanksgiving. Days are spent marveling at the sequence of events and the Home Trust of Skagit Program that led me to actually own my own home. I walk around my yard claiming my territory as I rake leaves and plan my spring flower garden. No more will I feel the uncertainty of being suddenly plucked up and transplanted without my consent. What a wonderful home trust for myself and others!