Friday, June 14

Home Buying Gets Easier in Phoenix for Iraq War Veteran and Other First Responders

For Iraq War veterans like Gus Montez, becoming a homeowner can seem impossible due to the high costs of property, despite current low interest rates.

But after turning to KTAR’s “That Real Estate Show” in Phoenix, Montez, a 52-year-old collision investigator with the Mesa Police Department, was able to achieve that goal — thanks to the show’s Unsung Heroes program and discounts provided to first responders.

Last month, Montez was able to move into a brand new home in San Tan Valley.

Because interest rates were so low, Montez decided that it was time to go from renting to owning. But on his own, he was unable to afford a home.

Then he heard about the Unsung Heroes program on KTAR, which he’d been listening to for years.

Montez then worked with Diane Brennan, host of “That Real Estate Show,” to find a home in San Tran Valley, where he wanted to stay. It’s not uncommon for Americans to choose their home based on location; in fact, more than 45% of Americans say that they want to live within the boundaries of a particular school district.

During his travels in the Middle East as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Montez saw “thousands of homes,” many of which looked like shacks, he said. Yet as he talked to residents in those areas, he noted that they took pride in where they lived, despite not having many of the luxuries that others have.

“Some would tell me that they were lucky because they owned them,” Montez told KTAR. He said he wondered if he would ever own his own “shack.”

Then after viewing several homes, Montez said they “struck gold” when they found a four bedroom, two bathroom 2,000-square-foot home in the Valley.

The real estate market for a new home is currently bursting as interest rates have yet to jump up. This has helped real estate sales bounce back from the recession in 2008.

The Wilshire U.S. Real Estate Investment Trust Price Index, which measures the price performance of real estate investment trusts, has increased by nearly 15% since last year and about 50% since the beginning of 2011. In other words, home sale prices are increasing in value due to the improving economy and low interest rates from the Federal Reserve.

Montez closed on the house in April and moved in with his son and fiancée, whom he plans to wed this November.

Brennan, who helped make this dream a reality for Montez, said that it was an emotional moment getting to see him and his family move into their new home.

“Helping people like Gus reminds us of why we got into the business,” she said.

The Unsung Heroes program was made possible by a partnership with Security Title and Nova Home Loans as a way to thank veterans and first responders for their hard work. Those eligible for the program include police or other law enforcement officers, firemen, active duty military, veterans, National Guard, Red Cross workers, and emergency medical personnel who are looking to buy or sell a home in the Metro Phoenix area.

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