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'Fab Five' Mortgage Lenders, Realtors Earn Top Recognition

January 16, 2024

The Alabama Housing Finance Authority has recognized five individuals as its top lenders and realtors of the year.

Harris Baker of Guild Mortgage in Montgomery and Jonathan Robert of Acopia Mortgage in Hoover closed the most mortgage loans using AHFA programs in FY2023. David Brown of Keller Williams Montgomery, Ashleigh Jones of Front Porch Realty in Sylacauga, and Plychette Montgomery of Elite Signature Properties in Tuscaloosa were the realtors who helped the most families become homeowners using AHFA programs.

Last year, lenders and realtors like these five helped 870 families from 52 counties become homeowners with AHFA’s Step Up program. Step Up provides competitive 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates and up to $10,000 in down payment assistance for households who earn less than $159,200 annually.

“Though times are tough in the mortgage and real estate industries, these individuals are some of the caring people who have led families to become homeowners through AHFA programs,” said AHFA Single-Family Administrator Carrie Hamaker. “By offering AHFA’s Step Up down payment assistance and closing cost grants, this ‘Fab Five’ went the extra mile. They saved their customers money. They stretched their home buyers’ purchasing power. They helped their clients make a decent down payment without breaking the bank.”

Since the year 2000, AHFA’s Step Up program has helped more than 21,000 Alabama homebuyers who can afford a monthly mortgage but need assistance with the down payment and closing costs. These funds can be combined with an Affordable Income Subsidy Grant and a Mortgage Credit Certificate to further boost their purchasing power. For more information, visit

“Sometimes we can’t wait to buy a home until the market is just right. Growing families, job changes, and other life circumstances can lead buyers to need a new home right away,” explained Hamaker. “Buying a home can be scary. But these top performers calmed their buyers’ fears. They walked their clients through what is likely to be the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. To AHFA and to their customers, they are helpers and heroes.”