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SLFCU Members Buy Their First Home


SLFCU Members Buy Their First Home

When Lesley and Kurtis Caldwell decided they were ready to buy a home, they turned to SLFCU for a quality mortgage and great service. Lesley, a long-time member, knew she could count on SLFCU’s mortgage loan officers.

A member of SLFCU since she was in elementary school, Lesley interned for Sandia National Laboratories for a summer prior to beginning her career in public accounting. A few years later she decided to continue her career with SNL in their Contract Audit Department and has worked there for more than two years.

“We wanted to put down our roots, gain equity, and not have to think about rent or the uncertainty of a landlord’s future intentions,” Lesley said. They had been saving money for a down payment and with rates being low, it seemed to be a great time to buy. In most markets SLFCU can help you buy a home with as little as 3% down if you’re a qualified first-time home buyer, and 5% if you’ve purchased a home before. 

As first-time homebuyers, they knew that they were going to come to SLFCU for their home buying needs. “Based on the great experiences we have had with SLFCU over the years, Kurtis and I decided we did not want to look anywhere else.”

The couple attended SLFCU’s Home Buying Open House in April 2017 to make sure they were on the right track. They received information about using the HomeAdvantage® program* to start their home search and to earn cash rewards, and other resources to help them with buying their first home. “We made a spreadsheet of our current incomes and projected monthly expenses, then decided what a comfortable mortgage payment looks like for us,” said Lesley.

With many houses selling quickly, they wanted to make sure they could move promptly with an offer. “We applied for our pre-qualification approval via SLFCU’s website and heard back from the mortgage department to discuss the process going forward,” Lesley said. Once the couple was pre-qualified, they searched for a real estate agent.

“After asking family and friends for real estate agent recommendations, we realized there was an overwhelming amount of options and decided it would be best for us to use HomeAdvantage to receive the cash rewards,” said Lesley. “We are very happy with our decision.”

Gina Dion, their HomeAdvantage real estate agent, contacted them within an hour of signing up, and they were able to look online for houses in their desired neighborhood. “Gina also provided us with listings and was very flexible when we wanted to view a home on short notice. She helped us every step of the way.

“There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to obtain a mortgage, like waiting on the sellers’ responses and preparing contracts, so patience is an important skill to exercise during the process,” Lesley advised. After finding the right home and making an offer, it took six weeks to close.

Use our convenient online tools to view current rates, use loan calculators, learn about the home loan process, and apply online. Contact an SLFCU loan officer to discuss your mortgage options and get answers to any questions you may have. Call 505.237.7161 or 800.947.5328 x7161, or send an email to

“SLFCU and your real estate agent are there to help, so it’s okay to ask questions,” Lesley added.

*The HomeAdvantage program is made available through a relationship between SLFCU and CU Realty Services. Program rebates are awarded by CU Realty Services to buyers and sellers who select and use a real estate agent in the HomeAdvantage network of approved real estate agents. Home buyers or sellers are not eligible for the rebate if they use an agent outside this network. Using SLFCU for a mortgage is not a requirement to earn a rebate. Rebate amounts are dependent on the commissions paid to the agent. Rebate incentives are available in most states; however, rebates are void where prohibited by law or by the lender. See for more details.

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