Nic is originally from Rocky Mount and came to Chapel Hill in 2008 to study Journalism and Mass Communications at UNC. After he graduated, he returned home to Rocky Mount but kept coming back to Chapel Hill — and after 10 months, he decided to return permanently when he got an internship with The Conservation Fund. From there, he got connected with the Triangle Chapter of the Young Nonprofit Professionals’ Network and ultimately a job at the Chamber for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro. It was through the Chamber that he first heard about Community Home Trust, and the rest, as they say, is history.
When he worked at the Chamber, Nic lived in an apartment — and it was when he shared with a coworker what a burden his high rent payment was that he got the tip to check out Community Home Trust. In fact, his apartment was just down the road from the Legion Road townhome he now owns, and he would often run past the neighborhood and think it looked like a good place to live. But had no idea until he made that connection how affordable it could be: in fact, his mortgage payment is now about half what his rent payment was. “The monthly experience is just so different,” says Nic. “I felt it immediately when that first mortgage payment came the first month.”
Nic loves the location of his home, including how easy it is to get to Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill. And he loves the quietness of his neighborhood and what a great place it is to get outside and go for a run or a walk. In fact, one of the things Nic says he likes best about his home is that it’s a restful, comfortable place, a fact that has been especially important to him through job transitions and the pandemic.
“When I’m in my house, I really try to relax,” shares Nic. “I naturally tend to overthink and plan and be on the go, so for my house, I really try to prioritize comfort. It’s a place to relax and turn your brain off. When the pandemic first started and it really was not clear what was going on, having stability was a big deal for me. Having something that I know is here and it’s not going anywhere, that was a huge deal. Especially when I hear about all the problems we’ve always had as a country being highlighted [during the pandemic], to be able to say, ‘Okay, I have this,’ has been really huge.”
Nic says that as a first time homebuyer, the process at times was overwhelming and anxiety-inducing, and having the support of Community Home Trust throughout the process was very important to him. And since he moved into his home in 2015, he has continued to appreciate the ongoing support Community Home Trust provides. He has relied on help from Ian and the stewardship fund to replace his HVAC unit and deal with a blocked air duct, as well as help him keep on top of what maintenance needs to be done and when. He has also worked with Felicia as a member of the Legion Road HOA and has received support from Lori through job changes and financial transitions.
“Especially when it comes to your home, you feel like as an adult you’re supposed to be able to manage things on your own, and that may stop you from saying, ‘I actually need help,’ or, ‘I need to reach out to somebody,'” says Nic. “But having a consistent network of people you can reach out to is huge, just knowing that it’s okay to ask questions.”
Nic’s advice to anyone who wonders if homeownership through Community Home Trust is right for them? “Have the courage to reach out! Community Home Trust is really helpful and accessible.”