Justin LaPlante and Julie Yardley Stay the Path to Homeownership
Justin LaPlante and Julia Yardley’s blended family has been living in two separate households for several years, but not by choice. With six children, there just hasn’t been a house available on Cheyenne River’s rental market that would fit everyone comfortably under one roof. They’ve been making due, but everything is about to change for the better.
A homeownership class delivered in partnership by Four Bands Community Fund and Cheyenne River Housing Authority opened some doors for the couple. Justin first took the class in 2017, and then Justin and Julie took it together in 2018. From there, they set off on their path towards homeownership, focusing first on preparing financially.
“We were getting all the bills paid up and building up our credit. It was a couple years’ process,” says Justin.
Justin and Julie utilized Four Bands’ programs to establish a solid foundation for homeownership. Collectively, they obtained a credit builder loan, engaged in some financial coaching, and took several classes on finances, credit, and debt.
From there, they dove into the nuts and bolts of the homeownership process – securing a tribal land lease, obtaining easements, planning utility hook-ups, choosing a home, and getting approved for a mortgage. If that seems overwhelming, Justin says it can be.
He adds, “Four Bands has been really great, giving us that extra push when we thought it wouldn’t happen. They’d give us a call and would reassure us.”
Justin says it’s not like buying a vehicle; it’s definitely a more in-depth process. Picking the house was the easiest part. By choosing a manufactured home, they were able to view several model homes and select from various floor plans.
“We were able to walk it, and the kids got to pick out their bedroom and where they’re putting their beds,” says Justin.
Now that the end is in sight, all of the work has been worth it. Justin and Julie’s 2,100 square foot, four-bedroom home is scheduled to be delivered in mid-July. Although their mortgage was approved by Four Bands a month ago, they’re continuing to finalize things like electric, propane, gravel, and lumber for their porches.