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Stories of Success

From: Heather Abreu

To: Juan Bonilla
Subject: Thank you!!

I, would like to Thank Lawrence Community Works for helping me realize my dream on June 27th 2008. This Organization of Development for the Community and its different educational programs, events, and other incentives makes it possible for anyone to obtain their dream! LCW stays with you through the whole first time home buyers process. They have wonderful guests speakers from the community to address any questions that members may have. This program offers you support and a sense of belonging, they treat you as one of their own, you're family to them and that's very important through this process of uncertainty, which can be very stressful and intimidating for first time home buyers. With LCW you're never alone....

LCW has a phenomenally dedicated, caring and compassionate staff members who are well invested in their crusade to helping anyone in the community obtain their dream. They are dedicated professionals who have a wealth of knowledge, understand and information to help people such like myself.

I highly recommend this First Time Home Buyers Program to anyone who is interested in investing in his or her future and community. This is the best Organization that Lawrence has to offer. I will forever be GRATEFUL to LCWs Organization and its members for making my dream come true!!
Something I thought that was out of my reach....I was wrong...

Best of Luck to future First Time Home Buyer...Keep your eyes on the prize...it is attainable... it happened to ME!!

Thank you !!! LCW....
Juan Bonilla and Annery Butten.
You're the best

Respectfully yours,

Heather Abreu




A Silver Lining

25 year-old Queyron Nolberto first began homeownership counseling in July 2007 with an interest in purchasing one of LCW’s affordable townhouses at Scarito Homes. With an overwhelming appetite for learning, Queyron took full advantage of all the programs LCW had to offer. After our first-time homebuyer workshop and intensive one-on-one counseling with Homeownership Education Director, Juan Bonilla, he participated in our first “Welcome Home” IDA cohort, an accelerated individual development account program for mortgage-ready participants. After saving for 6 months and accumulating $4800 through his IDA account (his $1200, matched with $3600 through private funds raised by LCW), Queyron began the house-hunting process as properties were being foreclosed around our neighborhood.

While we do not recommend that our first time homebuyers buy their first home at foreclosure auction, Queyron was determined to find the silver lining in this foreclosure mess. Queyron stayed in close contact with Juan, his counselor, received lots of support and guidance through the process and asked a lot of questions about the property, loan options and future implications of his purchase.

Armed with sound education and cautious advice from Juan, Queyron bought a house at a foreclosure auction. The single-family home was in good condition and Queyron was able to purchase the property for $30,000. He financed the purchase through a MassHousing/Mass Advantage loan through Metro Credit Union, and continues his learning at LCW through our post-purchase education and counseling. A silver lining indeed…..

Of the 9 participants who saved through LCW’s first Welcome Home IDA cohort, 3 have closed on their first homes, 2 are under contract and the other 4 are searching for the right option for them. A second Welcome Home IDA cohort for mortgage-ready participants will launch in November.

Dear Juan,
I took your class for first-time homebuyers back in January, & I want to thank you for all the valuable information you provided. I’m now living in my new home, & looking back on the whirlwind that was the last 10 weeks or so, it is clear to me that taking your class was a giant step in the right direction. I was able to interact with my realtor, mortgage lender & attorney confidently, and for me that made a world of difference. * I appreciate the work that you do for the people of Lawrence!*

Dawn Sawyer

October 30, 2007

Juan P. Bonilla
Homeownership Counselor
Lawrence Community Works, Inc.
60 Island Street, 3rd Floor
Lawrence, MA 01841

Dear Juan,

I am writing to share with you my deepest gratitude for all you, and your team mates at Lawrence Community Works, have made possible for me.

I finally achieved my goal of owning my first ‘Home Sweet Home’! And I can’t express enough, the thrill of moving into a place you’ve worked so hard to obtain and being able to call it your own! Of hearing my Son say… “Let’s go to my house” with such delight on his face, and knowing I’ve made those words true for him ‘my house’.

I truly believe I couldn’t have done it without the help, assistance, and knowledge given at your facilities First-Time-Home-Owner Course! I must admit before I took the course I thought I knew everything I needed to know in respects to purchasing a home. I had spent weeks researching the market and reading step-by-step instructions on-line. I even purchased a First-Time-Home-Owner book/manual to better understand the process. None of those technique where as resourceful and point-driven as your course, and the ability to have a person that is willing and able to focus on my case/individual needs… well it goes without words!

One of the most influential aspects of the First-Time-Home-Owner course is the resources that are given! I personally found it particularly gratifying that I wasn’t given one reference to one specific group of associates, but was referenced to several who fell into the Lawrence Community Works “trusted” list of vendors. No one tried to ‘make business’ off of me and in fact I felt encouraged to ‘shop around’ for resources that I felt comfortable with. Having someone who was willing to guide me in the path that’s right for me, someone willing to inform me of things to watch out for and things that where good for me and where available for me to explore. A person who without bias worked with me to facilitate my goals, answer all my questions (no matter how silly they may have been) and assured me that I was in the right path… was truly a blessing!

Thanks to you and the Lawrence Community Works, First-Time-Home-Owner Course, my home buying process was a smooth progress to a successful end result. I have already made a few recommendations to close friends and family. I swear everyone stepping into the world of Real-Estate should definitely take this course. And if anyone has the slightest doubt of the integrity/value of the work you do, feel free to have them contact me personally!

Yours truly,

Sonia De Jesus

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