Heather and Jeremiah Griswold grew up on the Cape, but had almost given up on their dream of being able to raise a family here.

“We tried housing lotteries in Falmouth and Mashpee, but we didn’t get one of the lucky numbers,” said Heather. “But we decided to keep trying.”

They took HAC’s first-time homebuyer course and that gave them the knowledge and encouragement they needed. Eventually they found a house that was made affordable through a buy-down program as part of the Sandwich Homeownership Program.

“Looking for a home was almost like a part-time job. It can be really intimidating,” said Heather. “But the people at HAC walked us through everything we had to know. When we sat with the lawyers for the signing, we weren’t scared because we knew what to expect. If it wasn’t for this program, we couldn’t have afforded a home. If not for HAC, we wouldn’t still be on Cape Cod.

“We had been renting in Mashpee, living in a revamped cottage. To move into a house where you don’t have to wear six layers of clothing because there’s no insulation was heaven. The neighborhood is the kind we grew up in and there are lots of other kids for our children to play with. It was nice to hear the kids learning to say their new street address.”

Now that they’ve settled in, the Griswolds enjoy gardening and have learned how to do some minor home repairs. “It’s a lot of work and responsibility to be a homeowner, but you enjoy the freedom of owning your own home,” said Heather. “You’re investing in your own family.”

Home-ownership classes are offered through HAC’s Consumer Education Department. Would-be buyers can also turn to Cape Community Real Estate (CCRE), a division of HAC, which is a full-service, nonprofit real estate company. In addition to selling deed-restricted homes and conducting lotteries for affordable homes, CCRE can serve as your broker on market-rate sales.

All of CCRE’s brokerage fees are used to support HAC’s programs, so if you buy or sell a home through CCRE, you’re helping to keep your neighbors in safe, secure housing and making a contribution to your community.

CCRE also administers the Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance program for Barnstable County. This program helps to make home ownership possible for first-time home buyers.

To speak with a Cape Community Real Estate agent, please call Gael Kelleher (ext. 284) or Karen Davis (ext. 282) at 508-771-5400.