Little Dixie Community Action Agency is a self-help housing service that helps lower income families or individuals get approved for a loan through USDA Rural Development to build a new home.
Basically this means that if you qualify, you will build your own home in the same manner as you see others do.
Sommer McMurtry, Group Worker for Little Dixie said, “We help people get approved for a loan through USDA Rural Development.”
Many don’t know how to find this service or even know it exists.
It’s not a business that fits inside a category that’s easy to find.
Even if you are ready to move ahead on your first home ownership experience, you still don’t know they are there to help you.
Little Dixie Community Action Agency wants to help as many as they possibly can.
McMurtry spends her time figuring out new ways to help people and how to help them fit into the already in place guidelines.
There are some qualifications that must be met as with anything, but, it’s not nearly as hard to meet these as as it is to meet conventional lenders requirements.
When a credit problem pops up, McMurtry and her team will offer the best solution.
She said, “Many think if their credit is not where it needs to be, or that it can’t be fixed. But we can help them fix it and get it taken care of.”
This is all free of charge for the new potential homeowner.
McMurtry said, “The only cost they do pay is $20.85 for the credit to be run.”
Again, this is a starting point in their process.
The worst credit can sometimes be fixed.
To pay to have your credit run, with the possibility of a free home, is a no brainier.
It’s a bargain that starts the process at Little Dixie.
They will help any way they can, but they do have guidelines, but they have heart too, which can help with those guidelines.
A deterrent that some create in their own mind before checking directly with Little Dixie is the perceived “down payment.”
She said, “The down payment is a big one. People think they have to have land, or have a down payment.”
You do not have to have either to fit in their program at Little Dixie Community Action Agency.
McMurtry said the process can sometimes take time, but with no costs, it would seem it’s worth it to anyone.
She said, “There is absolutely no up-front costs. You get approved and we do everything for you. We hire contractors and do all contracts. The homeowner doesn’t really do anything until the building process. All of the homes are brick, total electric. There are 9 different house plans to choose from. The homeowner picks out the color of the brick and everything.”
McMurtry said it’s really a great experience to have. To own a new home, that you’ve customized is incredible.
Even the porcelain and bathroom is customizable.
McMurtry said “They customize their entire home.”
Building a home takes time. Many need homes now, but if they can rent or lease until their new, free home is built, it would be well worth it.
Little Dixie CAA Self Help Housing is located at 400 W. Main St., Suite D in Durant. To reach them by phone, (580) 920-2479.
McMurtry said, “From start to finish, it’s about a year. You’re looking at 4 to 6 months to close on your loan. We put the package together and take it to Rural Development for approval. A lot of people get tired of waiting and drop out. I don’t know why that happens.”
Little Dixie Community Action Agency can be a huge hand of help when a new homeowner is overwhelmed with decisions.
They help find land and help the clients in the building process. There is no down payment and no closing cost and they offer a low fixed interest rate.
Homeowners are required to work on their home during the building process with the guidance of their construction supervisor.
Even the inexperienced can be taught a simple painting of a wall, or trim.
They may paint a wall, nail up a board or two, really anything that’s needed within a novice’s talents.
The credit guideline, as well as other guidelines, once met, really gets the ball rolling for the homeowner. It’s not all based on one specific number. The agency has heart and they will work with you, if possible, to help.
McMurtry said, “There are income guidelines. Your credit has to reach a certain amount because there is some wiggle room with the credit score aspect. We have a credit counselor who can work with them and guide them to where they need to be. That service is free of charge too.”
Sometimes the process can seem to take forever, when it’s only just a few months.
McMurtry said, “When it all comes down to it, and it’s the day of the final, you get to go in, everything clears and they get their key to move in. It’s always so emotional. You’re getting to help someone have their own home. They appreciate it more because they put some work in on it. That moment is amazing. You’re helping change someone’s life.”
Contact Dan Pennington at (580) 634-2162 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Taken at Courtney Hamill’s “Final” which is the final inspection before the new owner gets the keys. Left to right are, Terri Harless-Self Help Housing Director, Sommer McMurtry-Group Worker, Zack Williams- Rural Development Specialist, new home owner Courtney Hamill and Grady Ford-Construction Supervisor.
Here is Karlie White’s final and those who went, from left to right: Terri Harless-Self-Help Housing Director, Sommer McMurtry-Group Worker, Zack Williams- Rural Development Specialist and new home owner Karlie White, and Grady Ford-Construction Supervisor.