In February 2014, Sara Dowty opened an IDA account with the goal of buying a home for her family, including her fiancé Jacob, her four-year old daughter, and their one-year old son. Soon after signing up for the program, she completed a six-week Financial Skills for Families course, followed by a seven-week Pathways Home: A Native Homeownership course. In these courses, she studied various topics, including developing a spending and savings plan, understanding and accessing credit, considering mortgage-based homeownership, evaluating credit for homeownership, meeting financial obligations, and maintaining a home. According to Pathways course instructor Bruce Engle,” Sarah excelled in the course, demonstrating an incredibly high aptitude for and understanding of the materials.” In the summer of 2014, soon after she completed the courses, Sarah and Jacob were married.
Over the next 10 months, Sarah and Jacob saved for a new home, worked with the Warm Springs Housing Authority to secure down payment assistance, and worked with Tribal Credit Enterprise to prequalify for a home loan. In May 2015, Sarah and Jacob found a home on the reservation that met the needs of their young family. On June 2, Sarah and Jacob made their dream reality, purchasing a new home. “I’m so happy with how this whole process worked out,” Sarah stated. “It wasn’t always easy, but we did it! Sometimes when I get home from work, I just look around and feel grateful that we have this place.”