Shelly Crawford's favorite space in her new home?
The living room, when she's with her husband, Todd.
“Shelly time” — quiet time with a book — is spent in a nook in their bedroom.
But she brags on the kitchen, where the newlyweds worked together to turn a new house into a home in south Oklahoma City's Talavera neighborhood, near SW 164 and Santa Fe Avenue.
“My husband and I did the backsplash ourselves,” she said. Todd, a tile salesman, designed it. “We just tied to coordinate it as best we could with the cabinets and the granite. I think we did a great job,” Shelly said.
Shelly, music teacher at Moore's Red Oak Elementary School, bought the house, built by Harbor Homes, earlier this year several weeks before she and Todd were married.
For years, she had cared for her terminally ill grandmother, then her mother. It was time for her own home — but she couldn't see a way to make it happen.
The Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency's OHFA 4 Teachers loan seemed to be written up just for her — especially the 3.5-percent down payment assistance. It is one of three types of loans offered under the agency's OHFA Advantage loan program.
“I am so happy to be in this house,” said Shelly, who moved from near SE 44 and Sooner Road in Del City. “To be honest, I never thought I could own a new home until I began speaking with our builder's representative, who put me in contact with Republic Bank.”
At Republic Bank & Trust, in Norman, Gary Tresemer, vice president of mortgage lending, recommended OHFA 4 Teachers.
“Had we not had that down payment assistance, we would not be in this beautiful house that we are today,” Shelly said. “And I love it. I'm so thankful to OHFA for helping us with that.”
The Crawfords' energy-efficient home has nearly 2,000 square feet of space, with three bedrooms plus a study that doubles as a piano studio. Custom features include a makeup table built into the master bedroom closet. One extra came last week when OHFA presented the couple with a gift card to put toward patio furnishings.
Holley Mangham, communications director for the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency, 100 NW 63, Suite 200, explained the OHFA Advantage loan program:
• The program is designed for moderate-income individuals and families, with participating lenders across the state.
• The current interest rate is 5.375 percent with zero origination fees and zero discount points. OHFA also provides 3.5 percent down payment assistance.
• Three loans are available: 1st Gold (most homebuyers), OHFA 4 Teachers (educators) and OHFA Shield (police officers and firefighters).
• Homebuyers must meet income, purchase price and credit score guidelines. Income limits vary by county and family size,
• Maximum purchase price is $214,925.
• Minimum credit score is 640.
For more information on borrowing through OHFA Advantage, call (888) 937-1122 or go to www.oklahomahomebuyers.org.
I love it. I'm so thankful to OHFA for helping us with that.”