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MAKING A MARK: Local real estate agency launches homebuying mentorship program

During the pandemic, home prices have soared and housing insecurity has spiked. Onyx Realty Professionals is helping people create a clearer path to homeownership.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Forbearance, foreclosure, and loss of income-- all contributing to the picture of homeownership amid the pandemic.

Cavelle Mollineaux is broker/owner of Onyx Realty Professionals in Virginia Beach. The agency just launched a mentorship program called 'Roadmap to Homeownership' to combat homebuyer hesitancy and housing insecurity.

"The challenges, per se, with having funds available to come to the table and stuff... have changed because it ha[s] become much more competitive," said Mollineaux. "Interest rates have been historically low, and that makes affordability so much more as far as buying power is concerned."

Tiffany McGee is CEO of Survivor Ventures, which provides economic support and resources for survivors of human trafficking. The organization has partnered with the mentorship program, and she says guidance like this empowers her clients.

"It turns out that homeownership is a path of least resistance when it comes to safe and affordable housing for people with barriers," said McGee. "It's actually easier for us, this path, than the rental path. So, it just made a lot of sense."

With low supply and high demand, the pandemic housing market has become intimidating for potential homebuyers. Mollineaux hopes the mentorship program takes the process from frightening to fulfilling.

"It may sound overwhelming to become a homeowner," said Mollineaux, "but if you are able to step on a scale, per se, and actually see what it is you need to do to get there, then we will guide you along that way. We'll hold your hands."

The mentorship program lasts three months and combines an online curriculum with some in-person meetings. For more information, call Onyx Realty Professionals at 757-278-3945 or email roadmap2homes@onyxrealtypros.com.