It was 1984. Eboni Smith’s grandparents moved into a house in North Nashville that quickly became a home.
It was perfect for the couple – a school principal and a faculty member at Tennessee State University. Just the right size. Close to work. Near family and friends.
In the coming years, Smith’s grandfather would purchase five more properties in the neighborhood so their extended family could live nearby.
Over the years, her grandparents became pillars of the community. Eventually, her father moved into one of the homes his parents had bought, and more memories were made.
“I spent many of my childhood summers at this house with my dad,” Smith recalled. “We had many celebrations, an extensive VHS movie collection, laughter, cookouts and the chance to be innovative in the kitchen.”
This year, Smith secured not only a piece of her past but also a part of her future when she closed on a loan to purchase that same home, the one holding so many memories for her. Working with Regions Mortgage Production Manager Dennie Marshall, Smith became one of the first people to benefit from a Regions Bank pilot program that provides down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers in certain low- or moderate-income areas.
It’s true: service makes a difference.
After both of her grandparents passed away, the house Smith bought became the joint property of their heirs. It stayed that way for years. So, to purchase the property, there were several hurdles Smith had to overcome.
“I’d been living in the house for the last five years, but purchasing it was complicated,” she said. “The siblings had an LLC that managed and owned the home, so we had to get everyone’s agreement and have financing set and ready.”
As she began looking for lenders, a friend suggested she call Regions to speak with Marshall.
“He was so helpful, right from the start,” Smith said. “He suggested a homeownership course, and the whole experience was really beneficial.”
Discussing her loan options, Marshall suggested she might be a candidate for Regions First Home Assist, the mortgage down payment assistance program. The program is designed for people using one of Regions’ affordable mortgage products. In addition to Nashville, Regions’ mortgage loan originators are also referring eligible clients to the pilot program in Birmingham, Alabama, and Tampa, Florida.
“I’m happy to say I’m a homeowner!” Smith said, knowing that even though the process was complicated at first, the results have been worth it.
North Nashville, where Smith lives, is important to Regions Bank. The company has long maintained a branch facility there. That branch will soon be rebuilt, complementing neighborhood recovery initiatives following a tornado in March 2020. Smith said the people of North Nashville take pride in their community, and that’s providing the strength they need to recover during a very difficult year.
“The community in North Nashville was hard hit by the March tornado, but there is a different story happening there: one of strength, community and resilience,” Marshall said. “Regions has been a part of this community for a long time, and our First Home Assist Grant program is helping us both invest in the community and invest in its people.”
“Starting the homebuying process during the devastating tornado in March and a week later the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve experienced firsthand how resilient this neighborhood is,” Smith said. “And being surrounded by friends and family and quick access to I-40 to visit my mom is an added bonus.”
As it did in Smith’s case, Regions First Home Assist can provide up to $4,000 of down payment assistance for qualified buyers – and the assistance does not need to be repaid.
Thanks to the program, Smith was able to reallocate the money she’d saved for the down payment to go toward renovations.
“This home is special to me, but the extra help was a blessing,” Smith concluded. “This whole experience really comes down to service, someone like Dennie and a company like Regions. He’s the one that suggested the grant program and helped me find the loan that really fit my needs. It’s true: service makes a difference.”
About Regions Financial Corporation
Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $144 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,400 banking offices and 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.
If you qualify, the grant will be equal to 4% of the lesser of the sales price or appraised value, up to a maximum of $4,000. May only be applied to down payment. Not all applicants will qualify for this grant—there is limited availability. Grant applications will be considered on a first come, first served basis while funds remain. Grant cannot be combined with other down payment assistance. LMI census tracts are determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Property insurance may be required, including flood insurance if applicable. Loan must meet qualifying first mortgage loan requirements. Offer only available in Nashville, TN, Tampa Bay FL, and Birmingham, AL. All loans subject to qualification, required documentation and credit approval. NMLS #174490.