The Gilliams

The Gilliams (Photo by Ann W Olson)

Carolyn Gilliam likes to have her space. She loves having a quiet, peaceful place to relax. For nine years, she and her daughter lived in an apartment in Sandy Hook, but Carolyn wanted something more – a place she could call her own and a place where she could relax and enjoy the space she’d always wanted. She doesn’t remember exactly how she heard about Frontier Housing, but she does remember that one day she saw an advertisement in the newspaper for a piece of land in Elliott County. She went out to look at it and decided it was the place she’d been looking for.

Carolyn had been working with Fred Brown, Pre-development Manager at Frontier, to find a piece of property where Frontier could build a home. After she took a good look at the land herself, she called Fred and told him what she’d found. The two worked together to secure the land for Carolyn, and today she’s living in a brand new home.

The drive through Elliot County to get to Carolyn’s new house is a very scenic one. The road twists and winds along the top of Mauk Ridge and dips down into the valleys only to curl its way back up again. Finally you round a corner, and tucked away on the right side of the road is Carolyn’s home. Although the area all around her is hilly, Carolyn chose a small piece of perfectly flat land for her home, and this still makes her very happy. She says, “I’m really pleased. I love it – it’s great! I’m really pleased with it!” She has a spacious back yard, and the home is the perfect size for her and her soon-to-be fourteen year old daughter.

When Carolyn came to Frontier, she was lucky to have very minor credit issues, which Frontier helped her resolve. After she went through the Homeownership Counseling, she was ready to choose a home and she picked the “Garvey”* and she’s really happy with the floor plan. She says, “Oh I love it! I’m real tickled with it!”

Her favorite things about the home are the extra bedroom that she plans to convert into an office and her new washer and drier. Because Carolyn has always lived in an apartment, she’s never owned her own washer and drier before and she loves being able to wash and dry her own clothes when and where she wants.

Amazingly, Carolyn is currently paying only $30 more each month than she was paying for rent. She says she really likes knowing that her money is going toward a house payment instead of rent. “Knowing that I’m not spending money on something I don’t own” is very important, she says.

As a single mother, Carolyn points out, life can be a little bit harder for her than it is for others, and people often didn’t give her a chance. If it weren’t for Frontier Housing, Carolyn says, she would never be where she is now. “I would recommend it to anybody. If it wasn’t for Frontier, I would never have been in this house,” she says. “This is ten years of hard work finally paying off. It finally paid off.”