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Unlocking The Door To Homeownership

Terry Visperas came to Hawaii HomeOwnership Center (HHOC) after experiencing some changes in his life that necessitated moving back to Makakilo after 20 years of living in another community.

One of the biggest surprises was finding out how much traffic congestion had increased. In order to get his son to a 7:30 a.m. class, he had to leave the house at 5:30 a.m. On the drive back home in the evening, they experienced similar traffic congestion. It was often 8 p.m. by the time they walked through the front door, which would mean a late dinner and less time for sleep.

During this period of adjusting to a new schedule, one of Terry’s co-workers told him about the home-ownership program he had enrolled in at HHOC. Each week, Terry could see how excited and enthusiastic his co-worker was about the classes he was attending. He shared information with Terry about the resources offered by HHOC that eventually made it possible for him to purchase a three bedroom home in Maili. Terry decided to find out more about how HHOC programs could benefit him, and perhaps lead to a new home in a more convenient neighborhood.

Terry signed up for homebuyer education at HHOC, and comments that the positive role models he was exposed to throughout the program provided great encouragement that he could eventually attain his goal of purchasing a new home. “From the director to the staff,” Terry said, “they all treated me like a really great friend, and it was clear that they were going to do their very best to help me find a home!

This photo captures the moment when Terry Visperas’ son, Nainoa, at left, realizes he’s in their new home. Nainoa thought they were entering the home of a family friend until he saw the “Welcome Home” banner.

They believed in me when at times I doubted myself.”

Today, Terry is a proud graduate of HHOC’s program.

After attending the homebuyer education classes and receiving coaching on his homeownership goal, he bought a condo in an area with a short commute to his son’s school and his workplace. As a result, his son is now able to get more involved in his school and take advantage of extracurricular activities.

“Now, instead of sitting in traffic, we are eating breakfast watching traffic,” Terry jokes. “This journey to becoming a successful homeowner, with the guidance of HHOC, has led to many improvements in my own life, and I can see how owning our own home has benefited my son in many ways as well. We have both experienced a renewed sense of inner security and personal pride. We are healthier and a thousand times happier!”

Probably the highlight of Terry’s path to homeownership was surprising his son with their new home a few days before Christmas. All of Terry’s friends joined him in the big unveiling of the home to his son, complete with a Christmas tree and “Welcome Home” banner.

HHOC encourages anyone who wants to become a homeowner, whether now or in the future, to take the first step toward that goal by enrolling in an HHOC homebuyer education class. Still need some inspiration to move forward in your path to homeownership? Go to the HHOC web-site and watch the video of Terry surprising his son with their new home.

Hawaii HomeOwnership Center is a nonprofit organization that provides homebuyer education and individual homeownership coaching. Since 2003, when HHOC opened its doors, it has helped more than 1,555 individuals and families purchase a home. HHOC knows its formula of classes combined with personal coaching works.

For more information, go to or call 523-9500.

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