A Schoolteacher’s Expanded Ranch Home

Realtor Christy Temple helped homebuyer Chelsea buy a house at an incredible 50-percent discount – leaving her the budget to add a bonus room, a new master bathroom and a walk-in closet.

Photo by: CirclePix.com, LLC Homeowner Chelsea (middle) poses with her husband Michael and Realtor Christy Temple at her home in Salem, Ore., which she purchased at a 50-percent discount through the Good Neighbor Next Door program.

About the Agent

  • Name: Christy Temple
  • Brokerage: ERA Northwest Professional Realty
  • Location: Salem, Ore.
Contact Christy

When middle school teacher Chelsea was searching for an affordable home large enough for her growing family, Realtor Christy Temple turned her attention to the HUD Good Neighbor Next Door program. This program allows teachers, law enforcement officers and firefighters to buy certain homes at a sizeable discount, helping upstanding citizens become homeowners while bringing them into communities that need revitalization. With help from Christy and her trusted team of professionals, Chelsea was able to navigate this complex process and buy a home for an incredible half off the original asking price.

What was at the top of the homebuyers’ wish list?

The homebuyers were mostly concerned about the home being affordable and big enough to accommodate their family.

How did you go about fulfilling the buyers’ needs? What were your biggest challenges?

I set up a search for them, showed them a few houses in their price range, and alerted them every time a GNND house became available. Once we found the house they wanted, I worked with her lender (Sharon DeVol from HomeStreet Bank) and my contractor (Jeremy Gissel with American Legacy Homes) to transform the house into a comfortable home that they may never leave.

The biggest challenge was getting it all to come together. Not many lenders are willing (or know how) to work with the GNND program. Sharon DeVol has done multiple GNND loans, but this was her first with a new addition (which created new challenges).  We screened three different contractors.  In retrospect I am very glad Chelsea chose Jeremy, because he has experience working with the GNND program as well. Everything had to be approved not only by the bank, but also by the GNND program. They had a project supervisor assigned to the transaction, who had to approve all the plans. The GNND program is an amazing opportunity for teachers, firefighters, EMTs and police officers – but the guidelines and timelines are very strict. Regardless, I find it very rewarding when I complete a GNND contract. I used to be a teacher myself and I bought a GNND home. The 50 percent discount gives you instant equity!

Why did you think this house in particular would be a good fit for Chelsea?

A house is selected to be in the GNND program for three main reasons: It is in a revitalization area, it almost always needs work, and it is a foreclosure.  The idea is to get upstanding citizens into these areas. The home they purchased was in a decent area, was in pretty good shape, and had the potential of meeting their needs. Chelsea's eyes lit up when she walked into it for the first time – she had found her "diamond in the rough." She saw the potential as well.

How closely did this house match the buyers’ original wish list? What compromises were made?

Originally, the house was a little cramped for their needs. There was not an extra room to get away to. There were enough bedrooms, but only one and a half bathrooms, and the master bedroom was very small. So, the contractor added onto the back of the house: an extra room (den), master bathroom, and walk-in closet in the master bedroom. He also moved the furnace out of the laundry room and into the garage, which made a huge difference in the laundry room. The kitchen was updated as well, with new appliances, a microwave hood vent and a few more cabinets. The wood floors were buffed up so that they look like new. They also had central air installed, plus other miscellaneous items. 

How did you solve any snags or surprises in the home buying process?

I kept in close contact with the buyer, lender, contractor and escrow officer (Taryn Blanton at Fidelity National Title). There are very few escrow officers who deal with GNND properties as well, and Taryn does an amazing job. We were a team of professionals working together to get Chelsea and her family into their home. I could not have done it without them.

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