Upon meeting Horacio, it’s evident he’s proud of his home. He frequently displays the home’s progress on his Snapchat.
Sitting cozy on Milwaukee north side, he and members of his family (including his 74-year-old grandfather) have been working hard on the home rehab: insulation, finishing walls, pulling up carpets and refinishing the original hardwood floors.
“It’s been a lot of work,” he said. “But we’re almost finished.”
He worked for five months getting the home code compliant after purchasing it for $3,500 in May. The family moved in in September.
Horacio hopes to complete the cosmetic rehab projects in another six months.
Among the projects left to complete is adding a fireplace console.
Previously, Horacio and his wife Maria rented a small two-bedroom apartment.
Living in a 4-bedroom, single-family house has taken some adjustment.
“Sometimes it feels like it’s too big,” he said.
The neighborhood has them smitten. Horacio knows his neighbors: a janitor to the right of him and a third-shift worker to the left.
Monica and Rayford Jackson, both Milwaukee natives, hope to close on their home by the end of the month and then take a nice vacation.
“Somewhere sunny and tropical,” Rayford said.
The vacation is well-deserved.
The couple has been working with ACTS’ Homebuyer Counselors for the past three years to get themselves ready to purchase.
However, the home they have in mind isn’t just any home: it’s a family heirloom. The home belonged to Rayford Jackson’s grandparents.
The home went into foreclosure with the city, and the couple was able to occupy it through the City of Milwaukee’s lease-to-own program.
Working with ACTS gives the couple an opportunity to bring it back to the family.
“Now no one can take it from under us,” Monica said.
While they have been living in the home, they have worked to make the house code-compliant and live on the first floor. They have some repairs—both major and minor—to complete including the roof and foundation.
“The roof was always a major issue,” Rayford said. He said he wasn’t surprised about anything listed in the scope of work, the list of necessary repairs, for the home.
The couple has already been pre-approved for an ACTS rehab loan to help with the cost of the $40,000 rehab project ahead of them.
“We’re ready to take on the projects without any hindrance,” Rayford said. They are excited to start pulling permits.
The decision to purchase the home was spurred by their children ages 7 and 8.
“They’ve been in the house all their lives,” Monica said. “We want to leave a legacy. It’s nice to keep it in the family.”
The Cervantes family purchased a donated bank foreclosure with ACTS for $5,500 last winter and worked for four months to complete their home rehab projects. They received a $25,000 ACTS rehab loan to complete the necessary repairs.
The rehab projects included “mostly everything” from windows, doors, and painting.
Their ACTS Home Rehab Counselor Ramon Rodriguez said that the rehab was a tall order since the house was built in the early-1900s.
“They had to bring it up to today’s standards,” Ramon said.
Fredy Cervantes says he feels happy he’s paying for something that will be his.
“I’m really happy and appreciate the opportunity,” Fredy said. “This is a big thing for me and my family.”
Take a look at the photo gallery featuring their home rehab process below!
ACTS Housing’s mission is to promote affordable home ownership that fosters a low-income family’s ability to be self-empowered, thereby reducing community blight, neighborhood deterioration, and poverty. ACTS’ strategy is to generate home ownership opportunities for inner-city residents within a targeted neighborhood so that an entire community can be transformed and sustained. ACTS’ team provides home buying services throughout the city of Milwaukee.