Homeownership seemed impossible to Alec Underwood.

Although he had decent credit, Alec assumed there would be no way to afford a mortgage based on his income and small amount of savings. He also worried about the rising cost to buy a home. Alec knew he wanted to someday purchase a home in Montana and settle down where he could enjoy fly-fishing, hunting, hiking and skiing. But as a person in his twenties it seemed out of reach.

“Before I discovered Homeword,” said Alec, “I rented in Missoula for several years. Homeownership was barely on my radar.”

As he prioritized his career and gradually improved his financial situation, Alec began to consider what becoming a homeowner would look like.

Apart from needing decent credit and a reliable income, Alec didn’t know the first thing about buying a house. After hearing about Homeword and some of the benefits of taking a homebuyer’s education class, such as qualifying for specialized first-time homebuyers financing options, he decided to sign up for the homebuyer class to learn more.

“Homeword’s class was very informative,” he said. “The most helpful aspect was budgeting, not only for a mortgage but also for all of the unforeseen costs associated with homeownership. In one-on-one counseling sessions I had the opportunity to assess my budget and determine if homeownership was even a possibility for me.”

With the help of our homebuyer educator, Alec found his ability to purchase a home was something within his means that he could work toward. It was a big surprise to him.

The hardest part of the homebuying process for Alec was determining the right financing. Without significant financial resources, he relied heavily on first-time homebuyer programs. Homebuyer programs have different requirements, including homebuyer education, than conventional financing.

“Homeword’s support was integral to me navigating the steps to becoming a first-time homebuyer,” said Alec. “Having somebody help assess my budget and guide me gave me the confidence to work through the process and achieve my goal.”

His search took far longer than he anticipated, but Alec was finally able to purchase a single-family house. It is located in a quiet neighborhood in Butte. There he works as a senior policy and development director for the Montana Wildlife Federation.

“The fenced back yard and large garage were perfect for my outdoor gear and a small woodworking shop,” he said. “The close proximity to outdoor recreation opportunities is also perfect for my hobbies.”

Although becoming a homeowner was challenging, said Alec, working though that process has allowed him to help others do the same. He recommends Homeword to his friends because of the valuable information he learned in the class.

“Becoming a homeowner has given me comfort and confidence that I will be able to continue living in such an amazing place,” said Alec.