Jenni, a dedicated full-time EMT in Albert Lea, MN, has both a passion for helping others and a desire for independence. Jenni’s venture into homeownership is both a testament to her resilience and a reflection of her aspirations for the future. With the help of a First-time Homebuyer Grant, she is laying the foundation for her future and creating a sanctuary in her home, complete with her own Dungeons and Dragons lair. 

Get to know first-time homebuyer Jenni 

Jenni’s commitment to a career of helping others is evident. She is an ambulance EMT out of Albert Lea and attends paramedic school, both full-time. In her “spare” time, she spends time on home projects, her favorite being her basement turned Dungeons and Dragons lair. “One of my favorite parts of owning a home is the freedom to make it feel like me, like Jenni’s house,” she said. “I’ve infused my own little nerdy tidbits throughout my house and I love that I have the freedom to make it mine,” Jenni continued. 

Motivation behind the move 

Anticipating the need for flexibility to pursue her educational goal of going back to school and seeking to build equity, Jenni set out to find her ideal home. Despite facing stiff competition in the housing market, she remained determined to secure a place where she could thrive. Jenni’s homebuying criteria were tailored to suit her lifestyle and aspirations. From essential amenities like a washer, dryer and garage to the desire for a backyard in a welcoming neighborhood, Jenni prioritized comfort and convenience. While she embraced the freedom of stepping into homeownership as a single individual, she also wanted a home with at least two bedrooms, so she had room to grow. In a stroke of fate, Jenni found her home off-market, thanks to sellers looking to relocate out of state.Selfie of a woman EMT smiling at work in her uniform

Financial planning and preparation 

Jenni approached financing and budgeting for her home with caution. Leveraging the expertise of her real estate agent and Mortgage Banker Larry Johnson, she secured a First-time Homebuyer Grant that alleviated the burden of closing costs. These types of grants are available to help first-time homebuyers like Jenni get into homeownership sooner by helping to cover the down payment and possibly closing costs. Financial literacy courses are required and income limits do apply. This strategic decision to utilize a grant not only eased her financial concerns, but also solidified her confidence in her investment. 

The essence of homeownership 

For Jenni, owning a home represents more than mere property ownership; it signifies independence, self-expression and an achievement to be proud of. “One unique thing about my homebuying journey is that I did it as a single person while I was in school, Jenni said. She relishes in the freedom to create a space that reflects her identity and interests. From transforming her basement into a Dungeons and Dragons lair to adorning her home with “nerdy” treasures, Jenni’s house is truly a reflection of her unique personality. 

Jenni’s path to homeownership defied conventional norms, as she navigated the process single-handedly while pursuing her education. Her resilience and resourcefulness served as guiding principles, empowering her to overcome obstacles and embrace the journey with confidence. 

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