Home for the holidays: Birmingham mom’s dream home comes true!

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Some of the RealtySouth team with homeowner Valkeisha Embry. Photo via RealtySouth

55 volunteers from RealtySouth joined forces with Habitat for Humanity to build a home for a family in Irondale. Learn more about it and the homeowner, Valkeisha Embry, below!

Meet the Homeowner: Valkeisha Embry

RealtySouth COO, Jim Dye, with homeowner Valkeisha Embry. Photo via Bham Now 

Valkeisha Embry is a single mom of two. She has been working hard to get her family into a new home just in time for Christmas. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Birmingham gave her the opportunity to build and purchase her home in Irondale. She is grateful for the experience even though the road hasn’t been easy. 

I am thankful to Habitat for Humanity for giving me a chance. There was a point I wanted to give up, but I decided I’m not going to give up on my dream. Everything I asked for is coming together. Being [in the home] for Christmas is the best gift I could get.

Valkeisha Embry

You might think that Habitat for Humanity gives homeowners their homes, but that’s simply not the case. Homeowners put in hours of educational classes on home repair, financial courses, as well as “sweat equity” constructing their homes. They also make a down payment and pay a mortgage each month.

“What we do for a living”

The RealtySouth team takes a break from siding installation on Valkeisha’s Irondale home. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Pye Parson, associate broker at RealtySouth’s downtown office, said that not only was the build an extension of what realtors do every day, but it was also a great learning experience to see the process of building a home. During the build the volunteers worked on insulating the interior, installing siding and building a roof over the porch.  

That eaves went up fast! Photo via RealtySouth

“It’s great to be a part of building a home for someone in need. Being able to help people who don’t necessarily have the means that most of our clients do is really important.”

Pye Parson

The Impact

Did you know that home ownership is a key way to build wealth? Habitat for Humanity is making this possible for members of our community. Stephen Crigler, CFO of RealtySouth and Habitat board member, said that’s a main reason why he chose to get involved with the nonprofit. 

“Habitat helps people get into homes who may not be able to otherwise. It’s that first step to help them get into a house, and families are able to grow and flourish because of this base.” 

Crigler connected RealtySouth to Valkeisha’s home build as part of a corporate challenge. In addition to putting in hours on the construction site, RealtySouth also donated to the build. 

Teamwork makes the dream work. Photo via Bham Now 

“We are very thankful for groups like RealtySouth, because we’re able to apply donations toward our build, and they get the opportunity to work alongside the homeowners,” said Katie Elsea, social media volunteer and event coordinator for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Birmingham. 

As realtors, the folks at RealtySouth help people find their Birmingham dream homes on a daily basis. 

Home for Christmas

Valkeisha and her children will be able to move into their new home in mid-December, right before Christmas. “I can’t wait to see the look on my children’s faces,” she said. “They’re going to love it.”

Happy Holidays and welcome home, Valkeisha and family! 

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