Nothing says “you’ve made it” like owning a home. It’s the epitome of the American dream. But for many Americans, this dream seems unattainable. Bad credit scores and no access to funds for a down payment keep many people renting, unable to take advantage of the investment opportunities and other advantages that building equity in a home can bring.
Mustafa Shabazz, a member of Realty One’s team of realtors, is on a mission to change all of that. He’s worked in real estate off and on since the 1990s, and full time starting in 2005. “I made the decision to stick with real estate come rain or shine, and I’ve definitely weathered my fair share of storms over the past 15 years,” Mustafa says. Going through the ups and downs of the housing market brought a new perspective for Mustafa, and a greater understanding of what home ownership means for people.
“During the housing crash that started in 2008, I saw the effects of the foreclosure crisis and taught myself some new skills. My concentration has always been to ‘get people out of the rental rut and do the homeowner strut,’ but that crisis brought things to a head.” Mustafa is now an expert on the many financial options available to help people find an avenue to home ownership.
“I’m not just some person looking to make a sale, I am your home ownership coach,” Mustafa says. With his help, people find ways to own a home with affordable payments that can help improve their success in one of the biggest long-term investments many people will ever make.
One of the ways Mustafa can help is through a wealth of knowledge of all the financial options available. From low-interest mortgages to help with down payments, there are multiple avenues available to fit all sorts of different financial and family situations.
Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA). Using character-based lending criteria, NACA takes each person’s circumstances into account when determining whether they are ready for homeownership and what they can afford, rather than using the risk-based pricing model. This approach, along with education on money management, has helped NACA have a default rate much lower than the average.
North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA). A self-supporting public agency, NCHFA finances affordable housing opportunities for people in North Carolina whose needs aren’t met in the commercial market.
FHA Loans. Still one of the most affordable loan options on the market, FHA will finance for as little as 3 1/2 percent down payment. One drawback is the mortgage insurance, which is mandatory with FHA loans but does raise a person’s monthly payment.
These are just a few of the options Mustafa uses to help out clients with real estate in the Winston-Salem and Greensboro areas. He also has knowledge of local programs and community reinvestment programs, and has helped clients combine assistance from multiple resources to get money for down payments, buy down interest rates and work toward affordable house payments.
“When I can help people get the money to own their own home, it’s as big as if they’ve won the lottery,” Mustafa says. “I love that I’m able to help people in one of the most important financial decisions they’ll ever make. And I’m excited to be a part of the Realty One team, where we share similar values of teamwork and helping others.”