After 20 years at Florida State University, Claudius Mundoma decided to make a career move that took him to the University of Colorado at Boulder. Starting his new job in February 2020, he decided to rent a small apartment and wait for his wife and children to arrive to help shop for a home.
Then, Covid-19 shutdowns started in Colorado. Mundoma, who had planned to use his small apartment as little more than a place to sleep, found himself squeezing a desk under the stairs and working from there.
After a couple weeks, he got a call from the university.
“We were told, ‘This is going to be our new normal going forward. We don’t expect you to come on campus, even after we’ve opened,’” said Mundoma, who runs research operations as the Director of Core Facilities & Shared Instrumentation. “It was a 5 p.m. call and by 6:30 p.m. I texted my realtor to say, ‘We need to move on this house business’...that’s when I connected with Landed.”
Mundoma had never been to Boulder before coming for the job interview.
“I had names of places, but I could not place them in terms of what type of areas I would like to live,” he said. “I was worried when I took the position that – of course, Boulder is a super white-hot market – nothing is below $700,000, $800,000, most everything is in the millions.”
When he learned about Landed’s down payment program from a university bulletin, he realized it could help him reach a 20% down payment so he could save on interest and the cost of mortgage insurance. He also was very happy to have a team help him, since his family could not make the move yet.
“Having Landed as my partner made sure that all the items on the lists are never overlooked. Working with the realtor, there’s a profit motive. Working with the seller, they want to get rid of it,” he said. “If you have a co-investor like Landed, then your understanding of the market is secondary to the investor who is coming in. So, coming into the Boulder area, I could pick any place that I wanted, and if Landed comes in and says, ‘That’s a good market and we are behind this,’ I know I can trust that.”
Mundoma, who was already trying to adjust to a new job and being apart from his family, said Landed spared him a lot of stress.
“I was always getting updates...I didn’t have to do as much legwork. It was my realtor talking to Landed, and my lender talked to Landed, and the triangle,” he said. “I was just right in the middle to provide the documentation. So to me, the process was so simple. I only had to transfer funds, that’s all. That’s the most stressful thing I did, move funds from one bank to another.”
Mundoma said even the down payment program was easy to understand, without any hidden fine print.
“I think the main driver to me working with Landed was the simplicity of the program,” he said. “The value proposition was very simple. I knew Landed was interested in the value of the property that I would eventually buy because this is where they are driving their own value. It was not in the financial calculations or any gimmicks, it was in the asset.”
Mundoma said moving from being a renter to an owner has also allowed him to get involved in his new community -- learning about it, volunteering, and helping where help is needed. It is this work that adds meaning to his life.
“You cannot do that as long as you are renting because it’s temporary, because once you start contributing and volunteering, you are sucked into these committees,” he said. “You cannot – after three weeks, after six months, after one year -- move and start the whole process over or there’s loss of equity, life equity. As an educator, that’s what we live for every day. And that is cemented the moment you decide, ‘I’m going to be here.’”