When Jonelle Tsunezumi walked into the Hawaii HomeOwnership Center (HHOC) four years ago, she had a dream of owning a home in Kapolei.
She envisioned a home for her and her four young children. She took the homebuyer education classes and left feeling knowledgeable and empowered.
Instructor Dale Tomei presented the necessary steps toward homeownership and provided relevant personal examples and good financial tips. For example, a “stop card” was given to Tsunezumi at the end of the money-management class. The card had a photo of a beautiful home on one side and the words “Stop! Think about it before you spend!” on the other side. Tsunezumi put this in her wallet and it served as a reminder every time she was about to make a purchase.
Individual coaching sessions with Reina Miyamoto helped Tsunezumi create a personal plan towards homeownership. She learned about different loan options and received an outline of the steps she needed to take to attain the home she wanted for her children. When she was ready to enter into the buying process, she was confident and felt HHOC had prepared her for everything.
Tsunezumi is now a happy homeowner who recently moved into a brand new home in Kapolei — her dream community. Her quality of life has improved since becoming a homeowner. She loves that everything is in walking distance to her home and that the community is kid-friendly.
The concepts taught by HHOC are forever integrated into how she manages her homeownership expenses. Tsunezumi even started teaching her children about saving in their piggy banks for their own purchase goals. Best of all, she attained homeownership on her own, saying, “It’s the greatest feeling to provide a home for my four children.”
Tsunezumi’s achievement in homeownership has led to a different outlook for her future in other aspects of her life. Jonelle plans to pursue her doctorate’s degree after she completes her master’s degree, with plans of opening her own business.
Tsunezumi still has the HHOC “stop card” from the money management class, but it’s no longer in her wallet — it’s on her new refrigerator and serves as a reminder of her journey to attain this significant goal. She hopes other first-time homebuyers will become HHOC members and says this of buying a home: “It’s scary, but possible. HHOC will provide more than education — they will provide the support and encouragement for you to attain your goals.”