Samantha Mann is spreading out.
After living in tiny apartment after tiny apartment, she is now a homeowner in Gresham, Oregon.
“The home is great, having a yard is really cool,” said Samantha, a pastry chef who now runs the culinary arts program at Sam Barlow High School in the Gresham-Barlow School District. “I love to garden, and being in the outdoors. And that just isn’t accessible in most rental situations. Having the space to spread out so that my workspace can be separate from my living room, which can be separate from my bedroom, it’s been great.”
Like most first-time homebuyers, Samantha was unfamiliar with the process and worried about taking on the financial responsibility of homeownership. For the most part, she viewed owning a home as a faraway goal.
Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
“Covid kind of changed my perspective,” she said. “I just realized how important it was to be in a space that I was comfortable in...having a place where I could really settle into just seemed like the right decision, and that’s kind of what sparked me to consider it more seriously.”
Landed partnered with her on her down payment and helped her navigate the whole process. “As a young, single woman I thought homeownership would be something that would take me 10 or more years to achieve and Landed truly made the difference for me."
“Until you’ve gone through it, it’s a really unfamiliar process,” Samantha said of homebuying. “I didn’t know how to find a real estate agent or a mortgage lender, or how much shopping around for different mortgage lenders would be worth it...I didn’t know what escrow was.”
“Landed helped a ton...I didn’t have to find my own real estate agent, I didn’t have to find my own mortgage company, I didn’t have to walk blindly into the process...I felt like the process was really laid out from the beginning, so I knew what I was getting myself into.”
Now she is adapting to life as a homeowner, which has included adopting two kittens and, she mentions with a laugh, learning how difficult it can be to get rid of a yard full of stubborn dandelions. She’s also happy to be close to work, where she hopes to continue to grow the culinary arts program and get back to pre-Covid days. It’s work she’s passionate about.
“We actually started a full-service lunch café that operates once a week,” she said of her students. “I just had the right group of kids at the right time to make it happen. They were running it 99% by themselves by the time Covid hit. I was problem-solving and they were doing everything else. Everything just kind of fell into place. I figure if that could happen once, it could happen again.”