Why Housing Matters


By Berni Johnson-Clark Mille Lacs Band Member

Growing up in an apartment most of my childhood, and living in rentals most of my adult life, owning a home wasn’t something I ever thought could happen. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a homeowner anyway because of the responsibilities.

While I write this I’m thinking about our list of house repairs and projects: the sewer guy was here recently to clean out our basement drain and kitchen drain — something we need done every few years; the plumber is coming to replace our outdoor water spigots; the garage person is coming to replace our opener; and last fall we replaced our garage door. This summer we have plans to update our kitchen (counter tops, sink, and appliances only because a complete kitchen remodel isn’t in the budget), and we will be replacing all windows and patio door (this is why we can’t do a complete kitchen remodel — priorities!). Sounds like fun, huh? Maintaining a home isn’t always fun, but it is necessary. I’ve lived in this home for 15 years! It’s been the longest I’ve lived anywhere. It’s home to me.

That’s a benefit of owning your own home. Stability. Responsibility. Home. That’s why housing matters. We are fortunate to have a Home Loan Program that provides us with a very reasonable mortgage and a Home Renovation Loan Program for when we need to make expensive repairs or want to renovate our current home. I used the renovation loan 11 years ago to replace two major mechanicals (furnace and water heater), replace the rooftop deck, completely remodel the main bathroom, and update light fixtures.

As a licensed real estate agent with Keller Williams Integrity Realty, I enjoy helping buyers and sellers. Who knew that this girl who grew up living in rentals most of her life, who became a homeowner in her late thirties, and who didn’t see herself owning a home, now helps people with the biggest financial decision of their lives? When I moved into my home and brought my sister over, we were sitting in the basement and she looked at me and said, “Mom would be so proud of you.“ I think she would be, too. If you have a dream to own your own home one day, let’s talk. I work in the Twin Cities metro area but can connect you with great realtors wherever you live. I’d love to help you make your dream come true!

Berni@KorbyHomeTeam.com or my cell phone: 651-226-2275

If you are a Band member who owns or runs a business, or if you would like to share your expertise with other Band members, please submit your story to news@millelacsband.com.