When people in Idaho's Treasure Valley need a compass to navigate the often-complex homebuying process, they can turn to NeighborWorks Boise for guidance. And now, with home prices rising and inventory low, the nonprofit is needed more than ever.

NeighborWorks Boise offers financial counseling to help people review and—if necessary—improve their credit scores, create budgets, and save for down payments. It also organizes first-time homebuyer education classes. And, since 2010, NeighborWorks Boise’s staff has steered potential First Story applicants to our program, including Nicole and her family who turned the key to their First Story home last year. Nicole worked with Erika Switzer, director of homeownership for Neighborworks Boise, for two years and with a lot of hard work was able to switch jobs to find higher pay, decrease her debt, and secure her own rental before becoming a First Story homeowner.

“Most who become First Story applicants are families we’ve worked with for one or two years in our counseling program,” said Erika. “In most cases, they started at a point where they wouldn’t have qualified for a home. But once they’ve made improvements in their credit, or their income has increased, then we connect them with First Story.”

After setting out in the right direction with NeighborWorks Boise, we find families are ready for their First Story journey!