Kellie and Bin Hartigan we are homeowners

Kellie and Ben Hartigan 
We Are Homeowners!
An Interview with Kellie and Bin Hartigan
Varian Salters had an opportunity to chat with new homeowners Kellie and Bin Hartigan.  Kellie and Bin followed their dreams of being married and then becoming first time homeowners.  This is the interview. . . .
1. Why did you decide to take the step towards home ownership?
“We did not want to pay rent anymore, we wanted more space, more independence, you don’t have as much independence when you don’t own your own place.”
Kellie and Bin on the porch of their new home.
Kellie and Ben on the porch of their new home 
2. Did you engage a real estate salesperson?
“Yes, I can talk to you a little bit about that. One of our house managers Beth Morris was a real estate agent, One of the DSP's knew the people who built this house and said it was up for sale. We had been looking for a while.  We pulled the pictures up on our computer, we thought the pictures of this house were beautiful!”
3. Was he/she aware of what your needs were?
“Yes, we looked at Several houses. Most of the modifications we needed were done to this house already.”
4. Are there any kind of classes you took to learn about homeownership?  If so where?
“No Classes, but we are going to an Event the Neat Market Place, it was an Accessible Home on Wheels. We watch HGTV & DIY Network too.  We had to do a lot of research on YouTube. I highly recommend it, makes it easier to figure stuff out. The world is on the internet you can find anything you need.”
5. How long did the process take?
“We started in In May 2019 of last year September 2020 we found the house then a few more months to finish out.”
6. Did you use an ABLE account?
“No, we did not use an ABLE Account. My Husband and I saved our money in a Savings account; however, DDS only allows us to save a certain amount of money per year”. We had saved but it’s very hard to save when your husband likes to spend!  Me too, sometimes...”
7. Did someone or an agency help you with this goal?
“Yes, Camp Horizon.  I highly recommend having a binder with everything for the house paperwork in one location.”
8. Who helps the maintain & upkeep? Do you have an agency that helps with this?
“Yes, Camp Horizon to helps me to hire people to come & do all the yard work & gutters. We hire a contractors.”
9. How do you deal with things like if the pump or heating system breaks? Do you have money set aside for unexpected expenses?
“Yes, we do.  We have special card to be only used for the house expenses, you can’t use it for vacations or things like that.”
10. Did you use A CHFA loan or USDA loan to help you buy a house? What kind of program did you use to help buy the house?
“A regular starter mortgagee through a  Liberty bank.”
11. Did you & Bin run into an unexpected problem that made you go Wow? If so what kind?
“Yes, we had to redo one of the bathrooms and had to put a new shower in ours.  We also had to fix a bathroom for the tenant and replace their stove...”
12. How about snow plowing? How will that work? Will you or Bin do Snow plowing at your house or will you use any assistive technology to help-out with snow plowing?
“We hired Camp Horizons Landscaping for help in the snow.”
13. Is home ownership hard or easy?
“The process involves signing a lot of papers...the Covid 19 benefit was that everything was set up to do online. It was an electronic closing. It’s not all easy, and yes, some of it was hard. We couldn’t have done it without support from Family, Friends, Staff, and Camp Horizons.”
14. Now that you are homeowners is it everything you expected it to be?
 “Absolutely, I would not change any of it for the world. We knew it would be hard. 99 percent of it all we did by ourselves.”
15. What do you like better about this house than your previous apartment?
 “It’s a lot bigger & quieter. In the old apartment, we couldn't have company.  “We plan to have a housewarming when Covid 19 is over.”
16. Would you tell people thinking about buying a home to go buy one?
"Do it ! Its hard at the beginning but stay with it, you won’t regret it."
17. What kind of advice would you give others thinking about buying a Condo or house or mobile home?
  “Hard work challenging at the beginning. Work thought it. Think about it.”
18. Are you landlord’s?
“Yes, we are.  The rent helps to pay the mortgage”.
19. What it like being a landlord?
“When you are a landlord, if something goes wrong, the landlord is responsible for the problem. We had to get a new Stove, & pump for tenant at our cost, which means the landlord has to pay for it from their budget.”

 Kellie and Ben Hartigan at their home

Kellie and Bin Hartigan made their Lives Happen!
Congratulations to the new Homeowners.


By Varian Salters North Region Self Advocate