ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A businesswoman out of Rogers has been living in a bus for a while now, but she’s trying to find a permanent residence and is struggling to find one that she wants to spend money on.
Stephanie Hoffman owns an event design business, called “How Eventful”, in Rogers. A few years back, Hoffman and her husband were homeowners, but decided to sell in order to travel more with her business. That’s when she decided to start living in a 300-square-foot Silver Eagle tour bus.
“All of the Selena movies and shows, they have a Silver Eagle that she toured in. So, its basically Selena’s tour bus,” said Hoffman.
Recently, Hoffman started looking to buy a home again to have a more permanent residence.
“It would be nice to be able to leave the bus on our own property as well as have the space to finish renovating,” said Hoffman.
Like many others in Northwest Arkansas, she ran into trouble when trying to find one in her price range. She says she really only needs an 800-square-foot house, but they’re still more than she’s wanting to pay.
A big issue for a lot of homebuyers is the down-payment. Shawn Karnes, the Executive Director of Mortgage Sales and Development for Arvest, said you can benefit significantly from talking to a lender about how to drive down that price.
“In some cases, folks can get into a house, with you know, 3% down or less,” said Karnes.
He recommends some unconventional ways to plan ahead in anticipation of that future down payment. Such as asking for money on special occasions instead of asking for gifts.
“Instead of taking wedding gifts, you can have folks use that money as down-payment assistance funds,” said Karnes.
According to Karnes, there are online classes and resources for people looking for financial tips, such as with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Both are government entities to help with financial advice.
Karnes said the Arkansas Development Council is also a great resource for buyers in the Northwest Arkansas area. They also have classes available.