Homeowner Stories: Meet Veda

Published On: February 26th, 2024|Categories: Homeowner Stories|

Veda is certain her new townhome in Bridgepoint was meant to be hers from the start – even though until very recently she was also pretty sure her dream home was in Rosemary Place, where a CHT home had slipped through her fingers twice in the past. As a native Australian who came to the United States after she fell in love with North Carolina on a work trip, the fact that Veda’s new home is on Sydney Harbor Street says it all; she says she believes everything happens for a reason, and she didn’t get that home in Rosemary Place because her surprise dream home in Bridgepoint hadn’t even been built yet. On December 12, 2023, she closed on that brand new home and has been living the dream ever since; in fact, she says she still sometimes can’t believe it’s hers.

Veda was raised by a single mom and has been a single mom herself for the past 15 years, since her boys were 2 and 4 years old. In her native Australia, she worked as a food and travel writer; and about ten years ago, chasing the next food trend, she came to the American South. It was on that trip that she “had an aha moment” and fell in love with North Carolina, so she just kept coming back, even bringing her boys with her on one trip to see if they’d love it here as much as she did. They did, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Veda saved her money and planned for her big move for ten years, so that when she and her boys packed their things into nine bags and came to the United States in 2017, she had her carefully planned savings in place to get them started: $13,000 for a car and $7,000 for everything else they would need beyond what was in those nine bags. In order to get her visa, she needed a full time job, so she worked in a brewery until she found a job with a local tourism board and then ultimately the state tourism board. Veda says her employer refers to her as their “secret weapon,” as she works to invite others to visit North Carolina and fall in love with it like she did over a decade ago.

Veda and her boys lived in a small apartment in Chapel Hill for six and a half years. For a while, they also had another person staying with them, which meant one of her sons had to sleep on the couch when he came home from college at NC State. Veda admits that her journey to becoming a CHT homeowner wasn’t without its frustrations – in particular, the two missed opportunities in Rosemary Place had her “down in the dumps,” but she hung in there, continuing to keep her eye on those townhomes she loved so much. When she attended CHT’s Annual Meeting and Block Party in fall 2023, she chatted with our Sales Manager Amy Slaughter and Program Coordinator Deja Gilmore, and they suggested that she stop by the model homes in the brand new Bridgepoint neighborhood and take a look.

She did, along with her son, and she said they had a good laugh at the ridiculous idea that they could ever possibly end up in such a beautiful “bougie” brand new home. Within days, however, she learned she was in fact number 11 on the interest list for an upcoming Bridgepoint home, and she began to have hope that she might be able to purchase one of the homes that was under construction and slated to be ready in May 2024. But it was October 30, 2023, many months earlier than she could have dreamed, when Deja called her and said, “Veda, get your affairs in order; you’re number two on the list.” Veda says she called her son at college to ask his advice, because she was sure she wasn’t ready and couldn’t possibly buy a home so soon. Wise beyond his 19 years, he encouraged her to gather all the information she could from Deja and from her lender, Teresa Parker of Union Home Mortgage, so she could be prepared if the opportunity really did come through.

The next thing she knew, it did. Veda got a call from Deja that she was now number one on the list, and there was a home in Bridgepoint for her if she was ready. Still, she had work to do with Teresa to get approved for her mortgage, and she remained convinced that something would fall through. The process was a little complicated since she’s in the United States on a visa, and she was sure that would be the sticking point. But it wasn’t. She worried that maybe there had been an error and there was someone more qualified ahead of her in line. But there wasn’t. “I literally kept waiting for them to turn around and say I’m so sorry, we made a mistake – but they didn’t.”

Veda says she’s still not sure how she made it work, but the team at CHT and Teresa’s team at Union Home Mortgage were incredibly supportive from start to finish.

“They say it takes a village, and I found my village,” she says. “It is ridiculous how much support I got.”

Veda and her sons, each now with their own room, couldn’t be happier in their beautiful new home. They’ve never had two stories before, so having the space and quiet afforded by the upstairs has made life much more peaceful than in their apartment. Even their two rescue cats, who they had to keep a secret in their apartment, delight in running up and down their new stairs. Veda says they still have empty space in their home that they haven’t filled yet because it’s so much more spacious than their apartment was. “This is my home,” Veda recalls thinking after returning from a recent work trip, and she says it’s a feeling she can’t put into words.

And even after just a few months in her home, Veda is already experiencing the financial relief of no longer being a renter. As someone who says she “has to budget to buy [her son] a pair of jeans,” the fact that her mortgage payment is $400 less than her rent represents a huge shift. She says that $400 will afford her “luxuries that other people think of as just standard,” like helping her son buy a used car to get back and forth to college. Veda says that is such a gift, that as a full-time single mom she always has a plan B and a worst case scenario, and with CHT, she’s never had to fall back on either.

If you’re thinking about applying, Veda says, just do it. “You are not on your own, CHT really is a community. And it’s real, this isn’t a scam! These are real people who genuinely want to help you get set up and have stability and have a home, something that’s unattainable for so many people.”

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