[Blog by Sophia Williams, Development Associate, Special Events & Marketing]
With their 240th and final payment in May 2016, Michael and Jacqueline Wright accomplished the ‘American Dream.’
“It was a weird feeling. We’ve done it, but I don’t think it has hit us,” said Michael.
Before purchasing their home, Michael and Jacqueline rented an apartment for 17 years and a home in West Willow for 6 years. They finally moved into their Habitat home at 438 Orchard St., Ypsilanti in October of 1996.
“I’m always in a hurry to get home, whether we are at a barbecue or wherever. I’m always ready to get back,” continued Michael, “Every time I pull up in the drive I’m always looking at it. Now I’m looking at it saying, ‘I finally did it.’”
Michael works at First Presbyterian Church as the maintenance manager and is planning for retirement this year. When the Wright’s started their journey with Habitat, all five of their children were living at home. Today, the children have grown and all moved out, working as a boiler maker, bus driver, and a barber. One of the Wrights’ sons is even a homeowner himself through a conventional mortgage!
“It was an enjoyable experience all the way to the end. Some things were a struggle, but the Habitat programs helped out a lot,” said Michael.
Their furnace started leaking carbon monoxide after owning it for 20 years. Through Habitat’s Furnace Test & Tune Program, they were able to replace their furnace at an affordable cost.
“That was the top of the list, to make sure the home was taken care of,” said Jacqueline. Michael explained that they have always put their home and their other bills before luxuries.
“We try to instill that in our kids, to prioritize,” said Michael.
Their home has been a lot more than a roof over their heads.
“During the holidays, our house is exploding with people,” said Michael. They have had multiple barbecues, dinners, and two of their sons even got married at their home.
“We lined up chairs in the living room and the walls were bulging at the seams,” continued Michael. “We’ve had some good times there.”
Jacqueline said Michael can always find something to do in the yard, which is his favorite part about his home.
“Sometime I go out there and watch the birds and just listen to the music. I put in a pond, and it’s just like my own oasis. Even in the winter I’ll go out there with the dog and stand in my backyard,” said Michael.
They are now planning their next steps and have talked about going to see the Grand Canyon for their 43rd wedding anniversary later this year.
“I’m still very appreciative every time I come around the corner, I say ‘That’s my house,’” said Jaqueline.
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