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Joanne Renfroe, Decatur

Joanne Renfroe’s granddaughter Ziriah (affectionately called Zi Zi by most) played a huge part in her decision to buy a home. Renfroe is Zi Zi’s legal guardian and says she had often contemplated buying a home, but didn't think she could afford it with just her income. She was concerned about repairs and the upkeep, but most importantly she wanted a place they could feel secure and comfortable in a quiet neighborhood. 

Renfroe said, “I heard about the Step Up Program from a friend at work. I thought it was only for certain property in certain areas, but when I was told by Brenda Walker at Home Mortgage America that I could purchase wherever I wanted, that is when the doors really started to open up for me. The Step Up Program made buying my new home possible.” 

Walker stated, “We use Step Up often – it allows borrowers the opportunity of homeownership with very little out of pocket.” Having been in the mortgage business 40 plus years, Walker is a branch manager and a top producer at her company. She said, “I really like the feeling of helping people realize their dreams of owning a home, many times paying less than rent. We have a lot of repeat business and now make loans for former customer’s children. It’s a great job!”

Renfroe says through the support of Walker and her realtor, Valeria Crumbough of MARMAC Realty, she was able to navigate her path to the purchase of her new home. She and Zi Zi moved into their new home in Decatur the week of Thanksgiving 2014. She said, “We love our new home and our new neighborhood. This was without a doubt the best decision for us. It is a dream come true. I want to thank everyone involved with helping to make me a very proud homeowner for many years to come.”