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Maryann Sadowski & Matt Oneil

A photo of Maryann Sadowski and Matt Oneil. Photo by Mike Ritter

Maryann Sadowski was looking for an apartment to rent, not a house to purchase. But when she and boyfriend Matt Oneil compared rent to a mortgage payment, it became clear that homeownership was the way to go. An Army Veteran who was stationed in Germany, Texas and Korea, Maryann used an affordable Operation Welcome Home loan through Academy Mortgage to purchase her home in South Hadley.

"I would suggest Operation Welcome Home to anyone who qualifies," Maryann said. "It was so easy. Everything went so smoothly."

MassHousing's Operation Welcome Home loan program helps members of the National Guard and Reserves, active-duty military, Veterans and Gold Star families achieve the dream of homeownership. The program provides affordable financing, along with down payment and closing cost assistance.

The low up-front costs allowed Maryann and Matt to renovate the bathroom before moving in. They're now hard at work updating the kitchen.

Operation Welcome Home offers greater flexibility than VA mortgages, particularly in terms of co-borrowers and eligible property types. Because Maryann and Matt are not married, they would not have qualified for a VA loan.

"It fit them perfectly, because nothing else did," said Academy Mortgage loan officer Eileen Hennessey.

Now settled in her new home, Maryann enjoys photographing the wildlife that frequents her yard and spending time with her grandson, who is a big fan of the property.

"It's been a plus-plus all the way around," she said.