Antia Dawkins-Weatherington has received a number of accolades for both her career in real estate and her impressive community service work. She is a past Woman of the Year awarded by the Dothan Association of Women’s Club and has recently been featured by the Alabama Association of Realtors and in Business Alabama magazine. Anita has been in the real estate business for more than 13 years, and in 2017, opened Community 1st Real Estate in Dothan. Her brokerage now employs 10 agents.
Q: What are some of the biggest changes you have seen in real estate during your career?
A: It is now vital to educate people about the homebuying process. I host monthly workshops at my office to help people learn the basics towards becoming homeowners, including teaching financial literacy and bringing in credit counseling.
Q: How did you hear about AHFA programs?
A: PrimeLending in Montgomery first introduced me to the Step Up program, and since then, I became the first person to introduce it to lenders and Realtors in the Dothan area. I told them about how the program helped me sell 14 houses in 6 months. I regularly keep up-to-date on the program by visiting the AHFA website and talk about it in interviews and to anyone who might need to hear about it.
Q: What do you think is the greatest benefit of Step Up for homebuyers?
A: It’s more than just a program to me. It’s a tool that all buyers need to consider. Instead of spending all their savings on a down payment, it gives homebuyers the opportunity to keep some money in reserve or use it for extra expenses when moving, furnishing their new home, etc. I have video testimonials of buyers who have used the program and are so thankful, especially the ones that have limited resources or had a good credit score but didn’t have all the money for a big down payment. They were paying more to rent than they are now paying on their mortgage.
Q: What is the best advice you can give to first-time homebuyers?
A: Learn about the programs out there to see what fits your needs. Not all lenders offer the same products, and you definitely don’t want to change lenders numerous times and have your credit pulled several times. Also, this is the biggest purchase you will make in your lifetime. It is worth going to a Homebuyer Workshop to get educated. Becoming a homeowner is not just making a purchase. It’s about making an investment for your family.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about your job?A: I love helping people understand the homebuying process and finding products that fit their needs. Helping them purchase their new home has become something of a ministry to me.