DEC. 5, 2010 – Buying a house can be a scary proposition in the best of times, but it’s an especially daunting task during a recession when home loans are difficult to come by.
For Shakeya Lee, 29, of Kinston, the joy of owning her first home outweighed the stress of going through the purchasing process. And it’s not just any home. Lee purchased an EnviroSteel house, developed by the Initiative in Kinston’s Brentwood subdivision.
The house is built using recycled steel framing, which is sturdier and produces less waste than traditional wood framing. It is also energy efficient, designed to take advantage of passive solar energy. Large, south-facing windows, for instance, bring in the sun’s heat during the day; brick walls and tile floors store it, then release heat slowly at night to regulate the home’s internal temperature.
Lee is inspired by her new green home and adjusting her habits to match. “I kind of used the whole green theme and I made it more of a lifestyle change. I figured, if I put the time into getting a green home, then I should maybe make certain changes in my life in an effort to be more green.”
The Initiative offered a $10,000 grant to home buyers, in order to make the homes more affordable. Shakeya says that the grant provided an opportunity that she couldn’t pass up. “The price was great, it was affordable, and also I knew that I had the backing of the Initiative with regards to granting money toward the purchase of the home,” said Shakeya. “I knew I wasn’t going to be able to go anywhere else and have them say, “Ok, you want to buy my house? Go ahead, and I’m going to give you $10,000 to buy it.”
During the home-buying process, Willie Dixon, the Initiative’s Program Associate for Residential and Housing Development, encouraged Shakeya and provided her with the support and guidance she needed in order to get qualified for a loan. “There were times when, yeah, it looked like everything was smooth sailing, and then there were times when it looked like things weren’t going to go my way,” said Shakeya. “And Mr. Dixon was more like a motivator; you know, ‘Hang in there, it’s going to be ok. You want this house; this house is for you and you’re going to get it.’ So, when I felt that he had that faith in me, it made me believe more in myself.”
“This is my first home, and I’m very, very proud of it,” Lee says. “I’m happy every time I walk in the door.”