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First-Time Buyer – First of Six Siblings to Buy – Chooses HomePath

By Laura Haverty | June 09, 2016

First-Time Buyer – First of Six Siblings to Buy – Chooses HomePath Single-mom Chezarea Withers and her 11-year-old daughter came home one day last February to learn their rental condo in Kennesaw, GA was being sold in just a few days on the courthouse steps and they had to move out.

“I didn’t know what to do,” says Withers. “I’d paid my rent on time for six and a half years and it was really frustrating. I could not deal with the instability of renting anymore,” she recalls. “I couldn’t let that happen to us again.”

Ready to buy

Homeownership had been an “unspoken dream” for Withers, 33, a full time medical staff recruiter. “I just didn’t know how to make it happen.”

She contacted family friend and real estate agent Alphonso Wyatt of PalmerHouse Properties & Assoc. in Atlanta and started to look for homes in her price range. She even made offers on a few but none were accepted.

Then, they visited a HomePath property in Atlanta that Withers “fell in love with.” But there was one drawback. She didn’t want to take the educational course that’s part of Fannie Mae’s HomePath Ready Buyer program. (Fannie Mae is also the publisher of Housing Industry Forum.)

Ready Buyer offers first-time buyers up to 3 percent toward their closing costs on a HomePath property. It requires a four-hour online course designed by training pros Framework that covers budgeting, the homebuying process, what to expect at the close, and the ongoing responsibilities of homeownership.

The beauty of learning…and sharing

Although “impatient” about the requirement, Withers took the course and found, to her surprise, that she “enjoyed it immensely.”

“There were things I thought I understood but I didn’t—like the importance of the appraisal. I would say ‘uh huh’ like I understood but I didn’t. The course made you pay attention to the transaction details.”

“That was beautiful,” she says.

Withers involved her daughter in each step of the process so she would  understand that homeownership “makes sense.” She’s also telling her five siblings about the benefits and process. “I am the first in our family to buy a home and I think some of my siblings are ready and would benefit too,” she says.

“Ms. Withers is a great example of how the Ready Buyer program benefits qualified first-time buyers,” says Marc Oppenheimer, a 30-year market veteran and associate broker at Atlanta Communities in Dunwoody, GA, who represented Fannie Mae. “In this housing market I think HomePath is one of the best housing programs out there for first time buyers,” he adds.


Laura Haverty is the editor in chief of Housing Industry Forum and The Home Story. She can be reached at