Born and raised in Birmingham, Keith Fowler always dreamed of buying a home. In June 2018, his dream came true thanks to AHFA’s Step Up program and the help of his loan officer, Dave Molde with Rock Mortgage.
Keith says, “I had wanted this for so long. My mom died 12 years ago, and it was always her dream to get a home. But she went through such a struggle for so long, then she got sick and passed away, and it never happened for her. I know she’s seen me buying a home and making a better living for myself and my family. When I got this home, I just cried and I talked to my momma and just said, ‘You know this is for you.’ “
Apart from fulfilling his and his mother's dream, Keith says he wanted a better setting for his wife and three boys - ages 15, 8, and 7. Keith says jokingly, “The boys are eating me out of house and home, and the tiny little apartment we were in just wasn’t cutting it.” So Keith, who has worked in general maintenance for Vestavia City Schools for the last 11 years, and Donnetta, who teaches toddlers at Primrose School, started the house hunt. They felt like the time was right since Keith had been saving up and working to improve his credit score.
They were soon introduced to Dave, and Keith says, “He’s such a great guy. He almost made you feel like family. We were texting like brothers throughout the whole process. It was just so easy working with him. I had done my research, talked to a lot of people, and went to my bank, but I still didn’t know what direction to go in. Dave told me about the Step Up program, and I’m so glad he did. I was able to put what we were going to spend on a down payment toward all the other stuff you need when you’re buying. We were able to hire a moving company because I have a back injury I didn’t want to aggravate. I was just able to get a lot of stuff done, buying lawn equipment, furniture, stuff we needed for the home.”
Now that they’ve been in the home for a few months, they are settling in. Donnetta says her favorite part about the home is having more space for the family and decorating it to suit their tastes. She also says, “I love how the kitchen that looks over the den so we’re able to keep an eye on the kids or watch TV while we’re cooking in the kitchen. And I really like the sitting room. It’s actually too hot to go in there right now, but I love the room and when it cools down a little, it’ll be nice to hang out there.”
Keith says he just enjoys watching his family in the house and having a garage that allows them a little more storage. A big Alabama football fan, he’s also happy he has additional room just to watch football and hang out. Keith says becoming a homeowner, “Just gives you a whole different mindset. It makes me feel so special. Being able to come home to something you own just even gives you even greater motivation. I’m paying for something that’s mine instead of throwing away money on an apartment.” Keith also shares, “I was listening to a song last night that stuck out to me. It’s called ‘A Moment Like This.’ It’s got a different meaning to me because getting a home - it’s a moment. Coming from apartments and stuff, and never having a home, it means a lot. Especially when you’ve paid so many dues to get this far, and never had a handout, and worked to make it happen. I just want everyone to get a home and know what this is like.”