Kim's Success Story: Home Ownership

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Home Welcome Mat

Contributors: Nanci Micke, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at United Way Fox Cities and Kim Wallmuller, Integrity Insurance

From Nanci Micke: At United Way Fox Cities, we are asked for success stories all the time. After hearing Kim’s story, I asked if she would share her remarkable journey to home ownership. Two of the organization that are a part of Kim's story are also a part of the United Way story. ADVOCAP is a United Way Fox Cities partner agency (we help fund the Winnebago County Nutrition Program), and we have supported Habitat for Humanity with general grants and funding for Rock the Block. Our community has many programs in place that can change lives. Thank you Kim, for sharing your story!

Kim WallmullerFrom Kim Wallmuller, Integrity Insurance: I've always had goals. I first moved to the Fox Cities in 1995 and held several low-paying jobs until I was hired at The Boldt Company in 1998. I was only 24 years old, but I had a goal to own my own house by the time I was 30. I worked for The Boldt Company for several years before I finally felt I was able to afford a house, but I knew I didn't have a 10% down payment, which is what most of the banks wanted.

I started researching and came across ADVOCAP. I knew if I met the income requirements, my dream of home ownership could happen. I applied to the program and took the required classes. They helped me get the financing to own my own home by the time I was 28. What they taught me was invaluable. They taught classes on home inspection, how to research fair-market value and utility bills for the properties you were looking at, and how to read MLS home listings. With only $500 I purchased my home and secured financing that didn't require private mortgage insurance (PMI). That was huge for me!

Fast forward to the end of 2015 when I started seeing Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity's Rock the Block signs in Neenah neighborhoods near where I live. I still own the house I purchased in 2002, but had only been able to afford minor home improvements. I knew I needed new gutters and paint around my windows on the upper and lower stories of my home. I reached out to Habitat for Humanity and was told that Rock the Block wasn't coming to my neighborhood for several years yet. The woman I spoke to mentioned that Habitat had a home repair program I may be interested in that could help me sooner. I knew I'd put it off long enough and needed to make the repairs.

I applied to the Habitat home repair program in February 2016. It was decided that I needed new gutters and a new furnace. We made a plan and work started on my house in October 2016. The work was completed in about 6 weeks. I finalized my paperwork and started making very reasonable payments on my interest-free loan through Habitat for Humanity.

Without the help of these programs I wouldn't have reached so many of the goals I set for myself. I appreciate everything they've done!