NFC Case Study: The Freeses of Beaverdale

Marlyn and Roberta Freese’s Beaverdale home is a charming place, with that classic Beaverdale brick look and fun ornamentation. A picture window on the front adds a charm to the second floor. Around the back is a deck with a swinging loveseat overlooking their backyard and garage. Alongside these outdoor comforts, you might also notice their double-pane windows and brand new roof, two of the many improvements the family has made over the years to help with their home’s quality and efficiency.

When they bought the home in 2000, it had single-pane windows that leaked terribly. Their first home improvement project was to replace every window with triple-pane argon filled windows and they felt the results in comfort and energy savings immediately. Their next improvement wasn’t so planned, as they needed to replace their furnace when their old one broke down. They decided to go with a high-efficiency model that is still efficiently heating the home today.

Most recently, they’ve been able to take on a number of new home projects and improvements thanks to Beaverdale recently gaining access to Neighborhood Finance Corporation funding. NFC funding provides homeowners in select neighborhoods throughout Des Moines with access to forgivable loans up to $10,000 that can be used to pay for home improvements.

With the addition of NFC funding, the Freeses felt ready to install a new energy efficient water heater and air conditioning unit to replace the older units, both of which  had been in their home since before they moved in.

Their new roof looks like standard shingles, but it’s actually made from steel. Steel roofing materials can help with energy efficiency in homes because they’re more durable and easier to recycle than standard shingles. This improvement also happens to be the Freese’s favorite. They say they feel an increase in the comfort levels on their second floor and they love the look it gives their home.

They were able to get a $5,000 NFC loan that made a sizable dent in the costs associated with these large projects. For the Freeses, the whole process took a bit longer than they expected. It all started in December of 2012 with the first round of bids and paperwork, it took until April 2013 before they had the full approval and could start on their projects. They think a lot of this had to do with NFC being brand new in Beaverdale, but it’s important to keep in mind that the process isn’t instantaneous and involves a bit of extra work for a large benefit.

One piece of advice they gave for anyone considering a home project, either NFC funded or not, is to get multiple bids before you take on work. Roberta stressed the importance of this for them in finding a fair price for the work they were looking for.

NFC makes these additions affordable for anyone. To see if your home qualifies for NFC financing check out this locator app on the NFC website: http://www.neighborhoodfinance.org/locator.php

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