Tracy Marshall Buys a Place for Herself and Her Two Boys to Call Home in Albemarle County

PHA Tracy Marshall Homeowner

In January of 2013, Tracy Marshall lost her husband in a tragic car accident. Suddenly, this swim instructor with Charlottesville Parks and Recreation became a single mom of two boys, Nate and Chris. At the time, the family lived in a home in Greene County. After the accident, Tracy started having trouble making her payments. At the same time, she realized she wanted to move closer to Charlottesville in order to be near to her parents and other support systems. As a result, Tracy decided to deed the house back to the mortgage lender in order to be released from all indebtedness associated with the loan on her former home.

She didn’t realize how detrimental that decision was to her credit score until she applied for a new loan to replace her car when it died. She knew she had to get some help. Her credit score, which had been in the mid-700s, had dropped 100 points. While Tracy was able to acquire the financing for a newer car, she found herself renting an apartment that was falling into disrepair. The lack of maintenance made her feel the apartment was unsafe for her and her boys and she realized she had to move again. At around that time, Tracy learned about Piedmont Housing Alliance through a local partner, Region Ten. She had her first meeting with Piedmont Housing Alliance and worked with housing counselors Sarah Brazelton and Virginia Leary.

Tracy worked hard to get her credit back on track, making payments on time again and increasing her credit score slowly but surely. Tracy said she would take several steps forward and then something would happen to set her back. Her mother became ill and was hospitalized early into this credit-rebuilding process. Although her mother recovered, the time and expenses slowed Tracy’s progress a bit. Despite this and other setbacks, Tracy continued working towards a better solution for her family.

With much determination and continued guidance from her housing counselor, she was able to refinance her car, save more money, and eventually put several thousand dollars towards a down payment for a better home. With the support and guidance of Piedmont Housing, Tracy participated in different local programs including CHIP,that helped her create a more nurturing environment for her boys while continuing to push for a new home for them all.

In October 2016, Tracy finally had a ratified contract to purchase and closing was scheduled for December 8th.  When the home inspection took place Tracy found out that there were several significant issues with the property.  Getting the necessary repairs done by the seller and the homeowners association took longer than expected which caused closing to be delayed several times.  When it was beginning to look like closing would be rescheduled for after Christmas, Tracy called her real estate attorney who was handling her closing.  Tracy’s perseverance and her lawyer’s quick solution-oriented work saved the day.  Closing took place on December 22 and Tracy and her family celebrated Christmas in their new home.

Tracy said “I just wanted a good place to call home and, even though it took me three and a half years, I did it!”

Congratulations to Tracy, Nate, and Chris!