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    Realizing Homeownership at any Age

    In 2016, Fort Atkinson was welcoming to a pair of home buyers scouring the market for their new happy home. Happily married, looking to buy a house, and hoping to invest in their future, the Bidgood family entered the single family housing market after years of being cooped up in an apartment. However, the Bidgood family represents a unique demographic in those looking to purchase a home, a demographic with a seasoned history. Richard Bidgood, age 89, and his wife Annette, 78, found themselves on the hunt for their new home, but not without experiencing major difficulty. A veteran of the US Naval Air Force, Richard found that the standard VA loans and fees still did not allow for an affordable housing option. Soon it appeared that the Bidgood’s dream of home ownership would be nothing more than a fantasy. However, after being discovering WHEDA’s Veteran’s Affordable Loan Opportunity Rate (VALOR) program, everything began to change.

    WHEDA's VALOR program, originally introduced in 2015, offered the Bidgood family a mortgage with reduced funding fees and a low interest rate, allowing the Bidgood’s dream of home ownership to become a reality. Moving into their new home, the Bidgoods sought to combat the sedentary lifestyle of their former senior apartments, pursuing their vision, and creating an investment in their future.

    When we die the house will be passed on to our two daughters.  We knew we’d be happier in a home that was our very own and we found it. We say daily to one another this was a good idea.
    - Annette Bidgood 

    Though the Bidgoods may not represent the traditional Wisconsin home buyer, they display the tenacity of home buyers everywhere, hoping to achieve what sometimes seems impossible. The Bidgoods show that chasing dreams, and searching for a home, is not exclusive to any age or circumstance. Continuing their commitment to one another, the Bidgoods set an example of dedication to one’s dreams and one’s community, a parallel to WHEDA’s own mission in serving Wisconsin communities. Through the VALOR program, WHEDA displays its dedication towards serving Wisconsin families, especially those who have dedicated their lives in serving their own countries and communities. WHEDA certainly bids the happy couple good luck in the owning of their own home.