Essential workers at Texas A&M to achieve lifelong dream of becoming homeowners

KBTX Brazos Valley This Morning(Recurring)
Published: Sep. 11, 2022 at 3:47 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 12, 2022 at 4:55 AM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - “Homeowner” is a title many hope to have but believe can be impossible based on numerous factors like financial or even family history.

This was once Cathy Johnson’s mindset. The custodial supervisor who works on the Texas A&M campus and entrepreneur is an empty nester who raised five adoptive kids in an apartment.

“I always thought I couldn’t get a house because...the money wise and this and that and jobs and all that,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s friend and co-worker Tony Young also felt the same way. He said he’s rented all of his adult life and simply wanted something to call his own.

“I work every day,” Young said. “I feel like I should be able to purchase a home like anyone else.”

KBTX Brazos Valley This Morning(Recurring)

Johnson and Young participated in the REACH Project’s first homeownership cohort last year. It’s a series of classes that walks participants through seven steps to becoming homeowners. The steps include:

  1. Understanding the basics
  2. Money matters
  3. How credit works
  4. Homeowner education with Neighborworks
  5. Finding the right lender
  6. Choosing your home
  7. The basics of homeownership

Both Johnson and Young said the courses served as an eye opener that walked them step-by-step on what they needed to do to correct bad habits.

“I kind of took time out to tone down what I was buying,” Young said. “I was just buying stuff that I really didn’t need all the time. When I started doing that, I started being able to see that I could save more money.”

The two have been able to save enough money to make their dreams of becoming homeowners a reality. They’re on track to become homeowners in December and look forward to the little things like hosting family during the holidays.

“That way I can bring everybody over, my family, and entertain instead of renting buildings and little meeting rooms and something like that to have Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Johnson said. “I can actually bring them to my home.”

The REACH Project is welcoming its newest homeownership cohort Tuesday, and Johnson and Young are excited to be representations of what can happen with hard work and discipline.

“If you’re doing it by yourself, sometimes it can be overwhelming, so I think if they use the benefits of the program, they can go far in it fast,” Young said.

There are a few cohort spots still available, so click here if you’re interested in being a part. You can also find more information on the REACH Project here.