GRAND PRARIE, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Working as a Texas Realtor for the past five years, Lourdes “Lou” Sifuentes assisted many individuals and families achieve their dream of buying a home. While she also shared this dream, it was not until this year that it became a reality.
A $5,000 Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership (HELP) grant from Bank OZK and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) made it possible for Mrs. Sifuentes and her family to buy the home. Her husband, Victor Moreno, and son, René Avila, recipients of the grant, allowed Mrs. Sifuentes to move forward with the homebuying process on behalf of her family.
HELP, provided by FHLB Dallas through member institutions such as Bank OZK, assists income-qualified, first-time homebuyers with down payment assistance and closing costs.
Mrs. Sifuentes first learned about the grant through Bank OZK with the intention of having it as a resource for her clients. As she sought a home of her own, she was able to direct this resource to her own family.
Pedro Beascochea, a loan originator for Bank OZK, finds HELP to be a gratifying opportunity because it enables would-be homeowners to achieve their dream. “The grant helps first-time homeowners, like Lou, achieve something they did not think was possible,” said Mr. Beascochea.
Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB, notes the importance of this financial assistance.
“Our members have the opportunity to assist residents in achieving their dream of homeownership,” he said. “With the HELP grant, members can offer more resources and provide options that make homeownership available to residents.”
While the Grand Prairie, Texas, home was originally listed and removed from the market twice, Mrs. Sifuentes did not lose hope that it could become her home. When the time came to buy, she was able to quickly apply for a loan and the HELP grant with the assistance of Bank OZK.
“This house was something I had my eye on for a while and it was a one in a million opportunity that I had to jump on,” said Mrs. Sifuentes. “I personally like older homes, so I’m very happy with our 1980 four-bedroom, two-bath home. It’s in a nice, quiet neighborhood and truly a great space for my family.”
Throughout the homebuying process, Mrs. Sifuentes gained a new perspective on what it meant to become a homeowner.
“I didn’t realize how overwhelming it is for my clients during the homebuying process. After going through the process for myself, I feel like I can relate to what my clients are experiencing,” said Mrs. Sifuentes.
Without the HELP grant, Mrs. Sifuentes said she would have struggled coming up with the down payment. The grant provided Mrs. Sifuentes additional funds to confidently move forward in her homebuying process.
“It was always a plan to buy a home, and now through the help of this grant my family and I have a place to call our own,” she said.
About Bank OZK
Bank OZK (Nasdaq: OZK) is a regional bank providing innovative financial solutions delivered by expert bankers with a relentless pursuit of excellence. Bank OZK is the #1 capitalized bank among the nation’s top 100 U.S. publicly traded banks based on asset size and Tier 1 Leverage Capital Ratio as of March 31, 2020, according to data obtained from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Bank OZK was named Best Bank in the South for 2019-2020 by Money, the personal finance news and advice brand. Established in 1903, Bank OZK conducts banking operations through more than 250 offices in 10 states including Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, New York, California and Mississippi and had $24.57 billion in total assets as of March 31, 2020. Bank OZK can be found at ozk.com and on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or contacted at (501) 978-2265 or P.O. Box 8811, Little Rock, Arkansas 72231-8811.
About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank system created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $83.8 billion as of March 31, 2020, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances and other credit products to approximately 805 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. Visit fhlb.com for more information.