Las Vegas broker/owner educates consumers with her own brand of home-buying assistance
Dawn Lane, HOPE Program Founder and Professional Realty Group broker/owner, has been spreading hope across Las Vegas for the past five years. What began as a program built from scratch in 2002 (with Lane as the only employee) has evolved into a statewide program with eight additional agents in 2007.
The HOPE Program-Housing Opportunities, Programs and Education-is set up to help low- to middle-income families achieve their dream of homeownership through grants and down-payment assistance.
Lane started the program with the basic idea of helping others. “I wanted to try and find answers that would help me with the situation I found myself in and so I looked to others to get these answers.”
Lane cites her mother as one of the main reasons behind the development of the program. “She taught me that it was important to build relationships with members of the community.” Taking this a step further, Lane says she “watched how people contributing to make the community better couldn’t buy homes because the prices were too high. The people supporting the community couldn’t buy the home of their dreams, and they are the ones that should be helped.”
The program is designed to give people the skills they need to survive in their home without the help of others.
People interested in the program start the process by going to a general seminar in a public, friendly place. We go through the steps of home buying with them, and at the end of the seminar, we set up a one-on-one appointment where the game plan is put together. They are then outsourced to a nonprofit organization and they must go through an eight-hour home buyer course. Then we simply go through the steps that any real estate transaction would follow. They also receive post-counseling for a year once the home is bought.”
Since starting the program in 2002, Lane has helped over 300 families and is proud to announce that “we haven’t lost any of them to foreclosure. We teach people how to help themselves and create the self sufficiency they need to live the American Dream.
“The most rewarding part of this job is taking people that truly deserve this opportunity and changing their quality of life, the whole concept of the way they think, and giving them the hope that they can have this dream of homeownership.”
Although each person she helps stands out in her mind, she recalls one story that particularly touched her. “A gentleman read about me in a Taiwanese newspaper before coming to America. He came to America and enrolled in the Armed Services and has been to Iraq three times. He came to our country to live a better life, and all he wanted was a home. He didn’t trust anyone here, but he came to me because he had read my story. We helped him through the process of getting a home, something he thought he would never be able to do.”
Not only has the program been beneficial to the families that Lane has helped, but Lane has been positively influenced by it as well. “Working with the program has helped me grow personally and to understand human nature. It has also helped me to relate better to the workforce community and their struggles and obstacles.”
Lane believes that “every human being has a struggle. If you can get them through it and to the other side, it is the greatest thing. I want to help across America. I want to help more people realize they can do this.”
For more information, please visit www.prorealtynevada.com.