Chiquita, Charles, their two daughters and their “gigantic” dog Coco sometimes felt cramped in their apartment, but they were making it work. When Chiquita discovered that a baby would soon make five, though, she hit her breaking point. “I just couldn’t live there. I felt like it was, day in and day out, just a struggle.” Freedom from the smells and noise of close neighbors, privacy and space to relax were suddenly critical.
Over the years, Chiquita and Charles had experienced some financial bumps in the road and didn’t have picture-perfect credit. Charles’s sister, a real estate agent, suggested her brother and sister-in-law try Divvy. They were skeptical. “We were like, ‘I’m not doing rent-to-own.’ We always thought it seemed fake. You never really see anybody who has a success story with rent-to-own,” Chiquita remembers thinking. But their baby son’s birth was coming closer by the day, the apartment wasn’t getting any bigger, and the neighbors’ cooking smells weren’t fading anytime soon.
So they took the plunge. Chiquita and Charles were approved, fell in love with a two-acre homestead, and just 14 days later, they were moving into their Divvy home. “I think this is the fastest I’ve ever seen this process go. It was just seamless,” Chiquita says.
For the next nine months, the couple built their credit and settled in. When they reached their goal credit score, though, Chiquita and Charles weren’t sure how they would clear the next challenge. She remembers wondering, “how are we going to finagle the down payment and the closing costs?” They knew they’d been contributing to their home savings with every monthly payment, but realizing exactly what they’d accrued knocked Chiquita off her feet. “That was amazing. I almost cried. It was a blessing to have saved up and not even realize that you had accumulated so much to be able to wipe out one of the biggest hurdles.”
For both of them, owning a home in their names meant more than just a piece of paper. Chiquita says, “I don’t have a lot of people in my family who own homes. My mom and dad don’t have their own home. To see that this is something a lot of my family hasn’t been able to accomplish—it makes me appreciate [it] a lot more.” And she’s confident it’s the beginning of a lasting legacy for her own children, too. “I want our family to be able to use this opportunity to really look back and see how much they’ve grown here, how much we’ve grown here, and have those fond memories. I’m hoping that they take these experiences and use them to set themselves up. This is kind of like a blueprint for our kids.”
In the meantime, the girls are making their bedrooms their own, the family is shooting hoops and watching movies together, and even gigantic Coco has all the room she needs.
Hear it straight from Chiquita & Charles in their Ready. Set. Own. commercial: