Fifteen years is a long time to wait. Eva Gamble knows this all too well.
Gamble, a resident of Cranston, Rhode Island, waited 15 long years to finally own the home she had been renting. Her path to homeownership is a personal story of patience and perseverance.
“The reason I started renting here was because of a homeownership program through the Cranston Housing Authority, which offered the ability to rent and someday possibly own the property,” said Gamble.
After more than a decade of renting the same home, Gamble was finally ready to commit to her pursuit of homeownership. It was at that time when she met Yonatan de la Cruz-Mota, Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Loan Officer for BayCoast Mortgage.
“Cranston Housing offered a program where tenants have the ability to buy the property they’re living in, once they qualify. I put together a proposal, and the city accepted it. That’s when Eva received my contact information and reached out to me,” said de la Cruz-Mota.
Qualifying would prove to be an initial challenge.
“We had some work to do with her credit score and income in order for her to qualify for a mortgage,” said de la Cruz-Mota. “I created a step-by-step plan to help her get where she needed to be financially, but it took about one year before she would qualify.”
“It was a process, but Yonatan encouraged me by being supportive. He had solutions and said ‘If you follow my instructions, you will succeed’,” adds Gamble. “Yonatan walked me through the process, helping me with strategies to reduce my debt, and had me focus on what I needed to do so I was finally able to qualify. The rest is history.”
Eva says she is grateful for Yonatan’s guidance, saying she knew he had her back.
“He was very knowledgeable, very patient. He was there for me to succeed. I knew that I had help and that I could talk to him when I needed to. He would point things out to me to keep me on the right path.”
Gamble says the mandatory training program she participated in for first-time homebuyers, which was offered by BayCoast Mortgage, was extremely helpful. “I didn’t know how to go about improving my finances. Yonatan was a blessing. When he offered his support, things fell into place. He helped me succeed, that’s the bottom line,” said Gamble.
For Yonatan, he says it is a great feeling to know he is helping someone achieve their goals.
“I feel great. It is an educational process that goes beyond the closing. For Eva, she learned about her finances which helped her to the finish line. Her new financial education will stay with her for years to come. It feels good to be a small part of that final result.”
Adds Gamble, “I would not be here owning this home if it weren’t for Yonatan and BayCoast Mortgage. Once Yonatan started helping me, my FICO score just shot up because he told me what to do and how to do it.”
The first-time homebuyers program, which helped Eva, is a unique product offered by BayCoast Mortgage.
De la Cruz-Mota says, “BayCoast created a first-time homebuyer program specifically to help the Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) community within our footprint. Because it is our own program, it can be flexible and accommodate exceptions when needed to assist the borrower. Thanks to the flexibility of this program, we were able to make an exception to help Eva. That was a big part of being able to get this done. Our tools and resources, along with my passion to help people and our communities, made this transaction possible. I’m very happy to see Eva fulfill her dream of homeownership.”
It is this passion to help people that inspired Eva to expand her relationship with the BayCoast family of services.
“I am very pleased with the personalized service offered by Yonatan, so much so, that I went and opened up an account at BayCoast Bank,” notes Gamble. Adds de la Cruz-Mota, “She also sent other family members over to me.”
“I have two nieces and I recommended that they go and see Yonatan,” notes Gamble. “I know they will succeed in their homeownership goals, just like I did.”
Evelyn Ranone, FVP, CRA Officer for BayCoast Bank says Eva’s story is the perfect example of BayCoast’s strong belief in doing good work for the people of our community. “Kudos to Yonatan and the work he does. To me, he is not just a loan originator, he is a dedicated and compassionate person.”
“At BayCoast, we take the initiative to get to know our customers – who the person is behind the name and what their true needs are. Building that relationship is so important,” adds Helena Moronta, FVP, DEI Officer for BayCoast Bank. “If we didn’t do that, how would we, as a bank, be successful and honor our mission and commitment to serve our communities? For BayCoast to create a mortgage product to help our LMI community, and to have Yonatan work with this individual for over a year to get her where she needed to be to make this purchase, that’s what we try to do. We may not always be able to say yes today, but we will try to find a way for you tomorrow. Yonatan is a great example of that.”
“Stories like Eva’s are why our CRA Loan Officers choose this career,” adds Ranone. “To be able to change someone’s life by saying ‘I’m going to show you strategies that may help you buy your own home’ is truly amazing. BayCoast is here to help our community. That’s why we say our community is our family.”