Success Stories

It all started with a down payment


Kimberly and Ryan Hamiltonhamiltons website

Kimberly and Ryan rented a house their whole life until recently. Saving for the down payment was what always held them back from buying a home. They learned about REI Down Payment Assistance from a co-worker. “Our mortgage company was in contact with REI and we did not have to do any extra paperwork. Their gift allowed us to keep all the money we initially saved for the down payment and because of this we are nearing our second dream of being debt free. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!”

REI DPA programs help buyers overcome the initial cost of a home purchase. Roughly 90% of people using our program are first time homebuyers, and the average amount of assistance is $5,000. We are very proud that we have helped more than 5,500 Oklahoma families purchase a home.

For more information about the REI Down Payment Assistance program, call 800-658-2823.


Prince and Shekira BarnesBarnes

For Prince and Shekira Barnes, their home buying adventure began by going to get a paper every Sunday, and thumbing through it to find the home of their dreams.  They eventually found a few houses that they liked, and started visiting with local realtors and lenders in the Muskogee area.  The couple had rented and owned a mobile home in the past, but they were really wanting a place they could personalize and make their own.

As with most folks, they were a little concerned about the complexities of buying a home and Prince spent some time searching online for resources to help them through the process.  That’s when he discovered REI Down Payment Assistance, and the rest is history.  Prince admits that he was a little surprised at how well the program worked and how easy it was to use.

Now, with a little help from REI Down Payment Assistance, they are creating an investment for their family instead of throwing money away on rent each month and Shekira has a place to create a family tree mural on the living room wall.

For more information about the REI Down Payment Assistance program, call 800-658-2823.


Howard and Faye Abernathy

Family means something to retired Oklahoma educators Howard and Fsuccess-pic-1aye Abernathy. That’s why, several years back, they dropped everything and moved from Muskogee to Okay to care for Howard’s elderly mother. After his mother passed, Howard and Faye wondered if they would ever be able to return to Muskogee, where they had built their life together.

They wanted to buy a home, but with their age, they just didn’t think it would happen. The Abernathy’s needed a house that could accommodate their family during the holidays, but one that wouldn’t generate immense utility bills. The couple looked at house after house, and finally found the perfect one. To help them overcome the hurdle so many potential homebuyers face of gathering the necessary up-front cash, their mortgage banker turned to REI Down Payment Assistance.

Being back in Muskogee has meant so many good things for them both – Howard’s lawn care business has flourished and so has his domino game. Being in town gives Faye the chance to do things she enjoys, like volunteering and keeping up with friends.

For more information about the REI Down Payment Assistance program, call 800-658-2823.



Dean and Brendyn Oldham

After experiencing life as renters, Dean and Brendyn Oldham knew they were ready for their own home. Newly married and with a baby on the way, they wanted to find a place that met their unique needs; a yard for their dogs, no roommates, freedom to renovate, room for a nursery, and a more accommodating monthly payment. The Oldham’s lender, Linda Dickerson from Exchange Bank in Stillwater, referred the couple to REI Oklahoma. They decided an FHA-insured loan utilizing the REI Down Payment Assistance program was the best option. This loan provided so much assistance that the Oldhams paid little money out of pocket and were even reimbursed for a small portion of the payment.

The young couple became official homeowners on November 2, 2012, and they are very happy in their new home. Since the move, the couple has stayed busy; Dean works full time and is studying to obtain a doctorate degree and Brendyn has begun preparing for the baby’s arrival. As a result of the financial assistance they received from REI Down Payment Assistance, Dean and Brendyn saved enough money to decorate the new nursery and complete other home renovations. Since Brendyn’s father is in construction, they also have plans to renovate their kitchen in the near future.

For more information about the REI Down Payment Assistance program, call 800-658-2823.


success-pic-2Tommy Branch

Tommy Branch, a former resident of Austin, Texas, recently accessed the REI Down Payment Assistance program to help him move into a new house in Owen Park, a neighborhood in Tulsa’s historic district.  Moving from a one-bedroom apartment to a 1,065 square-foot house was a journey he knew he could not undertake alone.  After going through the process of searching for a house, working with lender Drew Dossey from The Lending Partners in Tulsa, and receiving support from REI Down Payment Assistance, Tommy praised his lender for being so helpful and making the process extremely easy, and said he would recommend the program without hesitation.

One of the best benefits of Tommy’s move is that his new house payment is less than the rent for his apartment. He loves his new neighborhood and its proximity to downtown Tulsa. Although he is responsible for more upkeep and maintenance as a homeowner than he would be as an apartment renter, his experience has been great.

Tommy said, “Taking care of something that belongs to you can be more satisfying than cleaning up an apartment!”

For more information about the REI Down Payment Assistance program, call 800-658-2823.