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Fulfilling Homeownership Dreams

June 1, 2023
Tish Allen
Tish Allen

Every time Sydney Allen would visit New Orleans in the summer to see her aunt as a child, her love for the people and the environment grew stronger. Originally from California, Sydney felt right at home in New Orleans when attending undergraduate school for a semester. "I always wanted to move back," says Sydney with joy. For the past three years, she has officially called New Orleans "home." 

Wanting stability for herself and her 13-year-old son, she hoped to find a place to call their own. Sydney set a goal that seemed impossible to achieve.

She needed a solid financial plan, and with the burden of being the only breadwinner in the household, buying a house looked like a distant dream.


Fulfilling Homeownership Dreams

 Sydney and her son celebrate closing on their new home in July 2022.


As an employee of Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans, a nonprofit housing organization, Sydney was attuned to the process of buying a home - the mortgage loan application, and the required list of financial documents, the importance of homeowners insurance, and the need for a home inspection etc., but admits that sitting through the homebuyer education workshops organized by her employer was very enlightening, and in her words, "an interesting thing" to experience.

"In the classes, you see what you're going to run into, but it's very different living it or going through it," says Sydney, who, during her process, felt like "all the cards were against" her. "You think that homeownership is not a possibility; you say, 'there's no way I can afford a house,' but there's help out there," affirms Sydney.

Although she found herself meeting lender after lender and experienced being treated as a number and not as a person, Sydney realized that she needed to develop a success mindset and a healthy relationship with money. During the homebuyer education classes taught by Hancock Whitney Bank at her workplace, and with the help of one of the bank's representatives on-site, Sydney was ready to put into practice what she had learned from the experts facilitating the workshops, which are part of the Plan Your Way Home process.

Once she was ready and with the certainty of reliable professionals that treated her with respect, Sydney and her son moved to their new home in July 2022. "Not only did they [Hancock Whitney] help me money-wise, but they were always motivating me and made the process so personable…they really know the process of the biggest purchase of your life," shares Sydney.


Fulfilling Homeownership Dreams

Sydney's home buying journey concluded with the purchase of house in New Orleans. 


Sydney’s dream doesn't stop with completing her own homeownership journey. Her Community Lending Specialist made the home-buying process smooth and easy for her family, and now she hopes to pass on the blessings to others. Sydney is now studying to be a housing counselor. Reflecting on the closing of her new home with her son and her 87-year-old grandma by her side, she wants to make sure everyone knows about special programs and services available to achieve the goal of homeownership. "I want to help people the way I've been helped," says Sydney cheerfully. "I'm taking the time to study because this information is so important, and most people don't realize that help is out there."

 "It makes me proud because I know it's obtainable," concludes Sydney, excited for a future in New Orleans with her son, who witnessed her hard work and the support she received from her lending team. "He realized how much goes into it and that hard work is necessary for something to last.”