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Realtor Spotlight: Kelli Brown, Sweet HOMElife, Trussville

May 02, 2022

Many years ago when her kids were young, Kelli Brown dreamed of becoming a real estate agent, but she didn’t have the money for the classes. Nearly ten years later, a friend asked her to go somewhere – and that somewhere turned out to be real estate classes. Kelli achieved her dream to become a Realtor in 2015 and has gone on to achieve Top Producer status consistently. She was also nominated for the Birmingham Association of Realtors “Residential Broker of the Year” award two years ago. She actively promotes AHFA and its programs on her social media channels.

Q: How did you hear about AHFA programs? 

A: Probably through KC Haririan with Caliber Home Loans, during the latter part of my first year in real estate. 

Q: Why do you recommend the Step Up down payment assistance program to homebuyers?

A: Most buyers believe you must have a 20% down payment to enjoy home ownership, but that's just not true! Step Up makes it possible to buy a home with limited down payment funds. Plus, another great benefit is the education AHFA provides to help keep the homebuyer in their home once they’ve purchased. I put out marketing pieces regularly about low and no down payment options in hopes to educate and give potential buyers the courage to apply for financing.

Q: What kind of ways is the Step Up program able to help homebuyers? 

A: I have had homebuyers contact me asking for help with rentals and stating their mortgage lender said they did not qualify for financing. Without digging deeper, I would have not discovered that their lender did not offer them any low down payment options. I connect them with a lender who offers AHFA products, and they are now homeowners too! This has happened many times, and thankfully they no longer throw their money away on rent and are building equity in their own home.

Q: What is the best advice you can give to first-time homebuyers? 

A: Don't be afraid to reach out to a real estate agent for a lender referral. We can pair you with a first-time homebuyer friendly lender that can help you get prequalified to buy.