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19-Year-Old Home Buyer Says New House Is Just The Beginning

 19-year-old homeowner Chloe Green outside her condo in Canal Winchester.
Adora Nammigadde
19-year-old homeowner Chloe Green outside her condo in Canal Winchester.

Chloe Green has found that homeownership is a big adjustment.

“The first night I stayed here, I was scared. Because it was all dark and it was at night,” Green said, smiling. “And I was like, ‘Oh my, this is a new place, I haven’t been there that long!’ So I went in my room and locked the door. I was very scared.”

Right now, she’s sleeping on an air mattress while she moves her belongings into the two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo.

“Then I woke up the next morning like ‘Oh my God! I’m really in a place that’s mine,” Green said. “I just couldn’t believe that this is my house.”

At 19, Green is the youngest homeowner in Canal Winchester. And according to NFM Lending Loan Officer Andy Biegel, Green may be the youngest person in Central Ohio to buy a house through traditional financing.

“We went through an initial profile to gather her basic details for a loan application. And then at the end of it all, we ask for the date of birth and Social (Security Number) so we can pull credit,” Biegel said. “And that’s when she told me she was born in 2002 or 2003 or something. And I was feeling first and foremost, extremely old now. And second, are you sure you wanna buy a home?”

Green was absolutely certain she wanted to buy a home – from a young age, she knew homeownership is a main means of building wealth in America. The average age of the first-time homebuyer is 33.

Green Was Led by a Mentor

Green said her godfather, Bobby Mitchell, helped plant the dream of homeownership in her mind as an early teen. He encouraged her to start saving and investing money as soon as she could.

“Well, I started saving at 15-years-old. I opened a Roth IRA and then every month it would come out of my account automatically,” Green says. “So I wasn’t necessarily worried about the money or sending it anywhere.”

Green started working when she was 15, and she’s been stowing money away ever since. Her first job, where she still works, is helping manage the office at the car dealership Trusted Motors LLC. Mitchell owns that shop. Green is also the lead preschool teacher at It Takes a Village Early Education Center, out of Father’s House International Church in Canal Winchester. And like many others her age, Green is a student. She is studying psychology at Franklin University.

I chose psychology more for the brains of the children that I am working with on the daily. I’d just like to know more about them,” Green said. “And also for myself, just to learn more about my body and my brain. That way I can regulate my emotions while trying to regulate someone else’s emotions.”

Green said when she was ready to buy, the first lending agency she worked with dragged its feet. Her realtor recommended NFM Lending, and the company proved to be a ready lender.

“That was probably one of the best decisions I ever made. So I submitted my application and I was approved literally the next day,” Green said.” So I had my letter in hand to say that I was approved.”

She was approved for $175,000 and ended up buying the condo for $160,000. She put $15,000 down upfront.

Adora Namigadde
Green is working on decorating her home.

Just The Beginning

Green is hoping to pay off the house in 3-5 years.

“Someone told me a hack, that you can like pay on the first and then right before it’s due again, make another one,” Green says. “Make two payments and that way it looks like you’re making more payments than you actually are even though it’s the same payment you’re supposed to be paying.”

And she won’t stop there.

“Hopefully in the next few years I’ll be able to either rent it out or sell it again as the market goes up, and then hopefully I’ll be able to get more properties and different things like that,” Green said.

With all her success, Green knows she is an anomaly – the Black homeownership rate in the U.S. has declined over the past 15 years. Ohio State University professor Jason Reece said it’s declined even more in Franklin County.

“It was 33% back in 2010, now it’s down to 28%,” Reece siad. “So we’re mirroring that national trend and even seeing that dynamic in a more intense way here in Central Ohio.”

That decreasing homeownership rate is one reason among others why Green wants to start a Womanhood 101 course at her church that introduces teen girls to a range of skills – including financial literacy, changing car tires and how to apply makeup.

“That is just something I do think our community needs in life,” Green said. “Because I know sometimes being a Black woman you’re labeled as unruly or loud or all of that.”

She hopes to turn the tide in helping build generational wealth in a community that often lacks it.

“I would say it’s very worth it," Green said. "To build something for your future or for your kids’ future, it’s just awesome.”

Adora Namigadde was a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU News in February 2017. A Michigan native, she graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French.