IDA brought dream of a house within reach

Schuyler Merritz used her savings from her Individual Development Account program, administered by the Community Loan Fund, for the down payment on her house, which she bought in July, 2007. Sky served on CATCH Neighborhood Housing's Resident Outreach Opportunity Team, comprising CATCH residents from around Concord. CATCH is a partner, borrower and former program of the Community Loan Fund.

In her words:

Schuyler Merritz"I never thought I’d own a home. I thought it was too expensive.

"We lived in the 1820 House on North Spring Street for four years and then moved to Perley Place six and a half years ago. (Both are owned by CATCH Neighborhood Housing.) The building and neighborhood were nice, just a little crowded.

"CATCH sent out a flyer on homebuyer education. That’s when I first heard about the IDA program. I thought, “It sounds great to match $3 to every $1 saved.” To be able to save money like that – you don’t often have that opportunity.

"At the time I started the IDA, I was trying to pay off my car. At times, putting away $20 a month wasn’t easy. I had it directly withdrawn from my paycheck.

"I saw this house in January. I knew I really liked it. But I needed to finish the buyer education courses and finish my car payments of $240 a month. I completed saving in May. I had paid off my car by then. It worked out well. I ended up buying my home right away.

"To move in, we had a caravan of vans and pick-up trucks going back and forth from Perley Street to here – about two blocks away!

"The neighborhood is great. I know everybody! It’s nice. Noisy in a nice, kid way. I really like my home. It has a lot of space.

"My kids really love it here. They have told me they feel really good that they have something that is theirs that they can take care of. From their point of view, they can paint the walls any color they want. I want a compost pile. I want a garden. I am building equity.

"I have control over my house. I can do all these things that I could never do. I see so many possibilities. I have more space to have friends over. People now show up that didn’t come before. The way I look at it is, I’m in a better place and I’m going to keep giving back."

This story was published in the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund's 2007 Annual Report.