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From Beach Box to Forever Home- The benefits of refinancing and homeownership

Financial experts have long considered home ownership to be a great financial investment, especially when compared to renting. Whether you’re purchasing a rental property, or a home for you and your family, homeownership can help you build equity, which can increase as your property’s value increases.

We’re sharing some insights from Wendy Lewis, Director of Marketing at TowneBank Mortgage, on her experience with real estate investment and the benefits of homeownership.

My first job out of college was an LOA for a top producing loan officer. Working in a Joint Venture with a National Mortgage Company and one of Hampton Roads top real estate firms. Not only did this position inspire my future career path, teach me the fundamentals of the industry and my first taste in developing relationships with customers and agents but it also taught me the benefits of homeownership.

I bought my first condo in the Spring of 2004. I was 24, and I did an FHA ARM. I had very little for a down payment, but just enough to allow me a cute little Beach Box, which was biking distance from Chick’s Beach.

After about a year or so, the housing market exploded. My original $70,000 Beach Box was now $180,000. I couldn’t believe it! My debt from credit cards and student loans was overwhelming and had me strapped for cash. I decided to refinance and cash out. I was able to use the equity in my home to pay off my college debt, my credit cards and do some cute upgrades to my home! This was a pivotal moment in my life. First-hand, I witnessed and benefited from investing in real estate.

My mortgage and buying history has included FHA, Conventional, ARMs and interest-only products. Each product provided different benefits for me as a buyer. My FHA allowed me to buy my first house, my conventional interest-only mortgage allowed me to pay off all my monthly debt and still have an affordable payment. Getting rid of the high revolving debt led me to build a decent savings account!

I am on my 4th and I think…final…forever home! A traditional conventional loan at an amazing interest rate, thanks to my amazing lender- TowneBank Mortgage!

My journey from my first to my 4th home has taught me so much from experience, with many lessons learned along the way!


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