by Teri Jones
If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for anything dealing with real estate, then the Mortgage Project, Inc. is the place to start your journey. Eugene “Gene” and Freda Thorpe, are Central Florida Mortgage Brokers that have created a real estate business geared at serving the black community with an abundance of services such as short-term rentals, Air B&B, property management, home ownership, seminars and much more! Their short-term goal is to partner with HUD Housing Authority, so they may have a more impactful influence with assisting prospective first-time home buyers with the process of renting to own, building credit and achieving a status to qualify for the right loan to buy a home. In general, Gene and Freda are skilled at providing services and support to anything related to real estate.
Gene shared that when they moved to Cape Canaveral he had been working as a mortgage broker for many years. His primary clientele were minorities and low-income families. At the time he was working for Century 21 Ocean. Once his wife, Freda, obtained her broker license, they formed a business partnership and created The Mortgage Project, Inc. Their entrepreneurial goal was to help others learn the importance of home ownership. They also felt they could be more effective with the community they have chosen to serve, if they had the flexibility to tailor their services to their clients, instead of following a set of standardized guidelines under the leadership of others. As stated by Freda, ‘We have been fortunate to experience the fruits of a booming economy, but sadly, we also see that black home ownership is at an all-time low of 43%.”
Gene and Freda are already working tirelessly to increase black home ownership through several initiatives designed by their company. “To get from first base onto second base, our clients need to understand the importance of credit and home ownership, “chimed in Gene. “Our seminars teach the value of good credit. We teach how the Federal Bureau scores credit, and we teach our clients how to manage their credit. Without good credit, you’ll have an outrageously high interest rate.”
Gene and Freda created their nonprofit, Mortgage Ministries Project to create a training program that provides resources to help their clients get into a position to either rent or buy or rent-to-buy. Under the umbrella of the Mortgage Ministries Project, their clients receive several services. They can attend a First-time Home Buyers Class and/or a Credit Repair Class. They have partnered with Grow Wise, a credit repair company, to offer credit repair classes. Clients can also participate in a lease option program through a shared partnership with Home Partners of America, if a client has a credit score that is less than 500. Their credit repair/credit build program can also help someone go from rental to home ownership if that is their goal. An example of how this process could work is below:
Client is interested in renting a three-bedroom home and eventually buying the rented home. The client has proof that he/she is gainfully employed and has a desire to repair a credit score of 420. The client acquires the ability to rent this $1,200 monthly home due to their participation in the workshops mentioned previously that are provided by Mortgage Ministries Project. As long as the client makes their rental payments on-time for an approximate period of three years, the client is building their credit and will easily obtain an FHA or Conventional loan towards the purchase of their home. Plus, their security deposit and first month’s rent amounting to about two-thousand dollars can be used towards the closing cost. The good news is that monthly mortgages are based on one’s income and are often less than the cost to rent.
The training and workshops that Gene and Freda offer will also expand to a digital platform. They want to encourage like-minded companies to partner with them if they feel they have a compatible vision. Their passion is to be that community oriented real-estate company that ensures affordable housing is in all the communities of Brevard, so that developers do not increase the cost of housing, making it unaffordable for the people of color or for those with financial hardships.
The couple also expressed their interest in mentoring at no cost for individuals who want to get into the real estate business. “We are looking for new agents either trained or interested in being trained. Let’s have a fire-side chat!” Freda expressed with enthusiasm. “We don’t just deal with property; we also deal with people through a Personal and Professional Process. Often people feel defeated, when they learn of their low credit scores and are embarrassed or incapacitated to seek help. Both Gene and Freda assured that they have the tools and the resources to help change someone’s life and become a first-time home buyer in three years or less. We’re helping to improve lives one family at a time. Let’s have that conversation,” shared Gene.
As we closed our fireside chat, the couple shared their Facebook page: Hey Freda Real Estate 101. Their address is 8501 Astronaut Blvd. Suite 4, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920. You can also reach them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org/ Their two websites are: (1) For profit: TheMortgageProjectInc.com and (2) Not-for-profit: TheMortgageMinistreeProject.org. Don’t forget to call or stop by for that fire-side chat. You won’t regret that you did!
– Teri Jones, Staff Writer