Innocent and Germaine Sabihira Purchase Their First Home for Their Growing Family in Greene County

Innocent and Germaine photoIn November 2016, Innocent and Germaine were able to close on their first home in Greene County making a dream come true.  Innocent, a CNA at UVa and Germaine, a production assistant at Custom Ink, are parents to a 2 ½ year old son named Ryan and were ready to take the next steps towards creating a more stable environment for their growing family.

The process began back in the fall of 2014, when Innocent and Germaine first started seeking help with raising a healthy family. Their son was just two months old when Naasira, an employee from CHIP, was asking them about their goals for the next five years. Saving money and working towards the idea of owning their own home emerged from that conversation. That’s when she put Innocent and Germaine in touch with Piedmont Housing Alliance, they started meeting with housing counselor Virginia Leary to learn what programs were available. Through individual counseling and classes, they began saving money through the VIDA program, (Virginia Individual Development Account).  VIDA participants take Piedmont Housing Alliance’s financial management classes and work with a Piedmont Housing Alliance financial counselor. The savings habits they learn are incentivized by the VIDA program which matches their savings with $8 for every $1 they save, up to a maximum of $4,500, to be used towards education, home ownership, or a business.  Innocent and Germaine started putting just $25 from each paycheck into their savings account.  Becoming more and more excited about reaching their goal, they quickly tripled their contribution to $75 a paycheck which enabled them to save $2,000 in less two years and receive the match to start working on buying a home. They continued saving and ultimately, by the time they were closing on their new home, they were able to put down a little more than $9,000 as a down payment on their home.

They say, “It’s so nice to have your own permanent place to call home.” After being asked what they might tell another homebuyer about the process, Germaine quickly replied, “You have to work hard. You have to learn how to save money and work on your credit.  Then, it’s important to follow the good advice given to you to be able to buy your home.” He adds, “Be patient too!”

It’s especially exciting for Innocent and Germaine to be settled in their new home as they add to their family by this September. They are also looking forward to welcoming their visiting family from the Congo to their new home soon!