Buying a New Home

A year ago, no one could convince me that someday I might own my own home.

Having a mental health disability and living on a fixed income I thought it was impossible. Then I needed to rethink what I believed when I read about Home Choice (a program which aids disabled people in obtaining homes) in the Access Press and when I met a kind and compassionate Realtor from RE/MAX Real Estate Guide: Pauline Rohrman.

I found the Home Choice program to be wonderful but their help was not enough.

I truly benefited from the relationship I developed with Realtor Pauline Rohrman. Her knowledge and positive attitude kept me from getting discouraged from buying a home. Pauline has worked at RE/MAX Real Estate Guide for the past four years and has been in the field of real estate for nine years. She resides in South Minneapolis with her husband John (“architectural social worker”), teenage daughter Katherine, a black lab (“Feebee”), and a cat (“Sweetie”). Her interests include helping out at her daughter’s school and belonging to the Trust Board (an organization that strives to make low-income people feel empowered in their homes).

Pauline stated that about 1/4 of her clients are people with disabilities. In our interview, she recalled the experience of locating a very nice condominium for her sister-in-law with a mental health disability. It was just what her sister-in-law was hoping for. I have to believe it was Pauline’s caring empathetic style that made it possible. She also shared her most memorable experience of aiding a low-income not-so-conservative couple in purchasing a home. Pauline’s gentle nonjudgmental approach was helpful here.

When Pauline was asked what she felt she had to offer the disabled community she said, “Respect and the belief in their right to own their own home.” She offers that the home buying process starts first with a thought, then a belief, next tapping into resources, and finally making it happen. Pauline sees herself as a “cursor” helping her clients move though the home-buying process and instilling positive thinking along the way. We have more than positive thinking to go on. Pauline discussed the current trends in real estate. There are more opportunities for the non-mainstream buyer in real estate. We are seeing home buying workshops. It has become socially acceptable to live in a maintenance-free lifestyle (i.e., condominiums and townhouses).

As our interview ended, Pauline touched on why she wanted to become a Realtor. She said, ”Because there is so much room for people like me in real estate: people that care. I believe in the happy ending.” As for the happy ending, in my case, I have decided to wait a year to purchase a home when I am in a better position. I know that I will be in contact with Pauline for I have surely learned a great deal from her. Owning a home is possible for someone with a disability.