More than just a job

For Stacy Woods, a senior loan officer with Highlands Residential Mortgage in Chattanooga, originating home loans is more than just a job.

Over the past two decades, Woods has helped numerous homebuyers in Hamilton County and surrounding secure a mortgage to purchase their first home. From repeat homebuyers to first-time purchasers, Woods has helped individuals and families of all types and sizes.

Since she began her work, one of the tools she’s used to help her clients are THDA’s Great Choice and Great Choice Plus mortgage loans.

“Getting someone in a home when they didn’t think they could because they didn’t have the downpayment funds is great because with the THDA loans we’re able to supply that for them reasonably,” Woods said. “Many times, they are able to afford the mortgage payment – it’s actually cheaper than their rent – but the downpayment presents a hurdle.”

Woods said many clients aren’t aware that downpayment assistance exists and are surprised to find that they qualify for it.

“When many of my clients come in, they don’t even know that is a thing,” Wood said. “So when they come in and are eligible, the first thing my mind goes to is a THDA loan and can we fit them in here. Sometimes they don’t because they are over the income limits, but THDA has helped with that too and made changes that make it easier for more people to qualify.”

Woods said being able to help her clients become homeowners is the most fulfilling part of being a loan officer.

“When they find that out they can get that help (buying a home), they are thrilled. And it really makes an impact on me. When they’re crying at the closing table because they didn’t think they’d ever be a homeowner, and they have their family there with them, and they’re the first in their family to be a homeowner, it makes it all worth it.

“It’s humbling to me to be a part of their journey.”