Every month Jose and Rosaura Navarrete come to the Habitat Collier office to make their mortgage payment. In March, the couple proudly walked in and paid their final payment. “It’s our last one!” said Jose.
It was 20 years ago that Jose and Rosaura learned about Habitat for Humanity of Collier County. “We had to apply in Immokalee because there was no Naples office at the time.” said Jose. Both clearly remember investing their 500 hours of sweat equity, working on their house and those of their neighbors. With pride, Rosa shared, “I put shingles on the roof, put tile on the floor, siding on the house and even sheetrock.”
In May of 1995, the Navarrete’s and their three small children, Benjamin, age 5, Marisol, age 3, and Jasmin, 8 months old, received the keys to their home. “As soon as we moved into the house, that’s when Jasmin took her first steps” said Rosaura. Jose said his family’s life made a 360 degree turn when they purchased their home. Their monthly mortgage payment was more affordable and both parents felt like they could dedicate more time to their young family. When they were renting, Jose would constantly stress about coming up with the money to make ends meet. Jose also said that his family felt a lot more safe and secure with a home to call their own. The purchasing of their home truly allowed the Navarrete’s to move forward in life.
Today, Jose works at Silver Lakes Golf and RV Resort as he has for nearly 22 years. Their oldest son Benjamin, now 26, is married with a young daughter of his own. He works as a mechanic at Wal-Mart. Marisol is now 23 and working as a CNA for a private home health company. Jasmin is 21 and currently studying to be a cosmetologist. The two newest additions to the Navarrete family are Luz Maria, age 12, and Luis Angel, age 5. Luz Maria is in the sixth grade at Manatee Middle School where she plays the clarinet in the school band. Luis Angel is a very active pre-kindergartner who loves to play soccer.
Looking back on their home buying process, the Navarrete’s are extremely thankful to Habitat Collier and all of the donors and volunteers who helped make their dream of homeownership a reality. Jose appreciates the time he was able to invest in his family. Rosaura says that without their home, their children would not have had the same opportunities they have access to now. For the Navarrete’s, their Habitat home was and still is the perfect place to raise their family.