Violet Bundy was sitting in her living room recently, with 25 boxes stacked up around her.
“The only space I got is some room to get through to the kitchen and to sit down and watch TV,” Bundy said. “It’s just so cluttered.”
She was waiting for the go-head to sign on the dotted line and eager to move into her new digs.
At 83, Bundy was becoming a first-time homebuyer. Her new domain — an 1,100-square-foot, three-bedroom house on Guerrant Street in Greensboro.
“Amid everything that’s been going on, this is something that can give people a little bit of hope,” said Cosandra Young, a real estate agent with Jamestown-based AlmaJAnnie Realty. “If she can buy a home at 83, other people can do it at 23 or 33 or 43.”
Bundy, who hails from New Jersey, retired in 2001 as housekeeping supervisor at a school and moved to the area to be close to her daughter and grandkids. For the past several years, she had been renting a house on Erwin Street in Greensboro.
She decided to start house hunting, she said, after trying to get a toilet fixed. It kept running, which caused her water bill to go up. She also had to get a refrigerator replaced.
Bundy said the landlord had given some money to replace the food lost in the bad refrigerator, but she was dissatisfied with the type of refrigerator he brought in. (Her landlord, David Kiddy of Oak Ridge, said he fixed the problems in a prompt manner and Bundy had seemed happy with the work that was done.)
She said she was also worried about a possible rent increase.
“I started looking at houses in November,” she said. “And I kept praying ‘God, lead me to the house you want me to have.’ ”
Eventually she came upon the house on Guerrant Street.
“It has a large bedroom, a sunroom, a carport in the back for two cars,” she said. “It’s just lovely. And I feel like this is what God wanted me to have.”
The house cost $108,500, and as a first-time homebuyer, she was eligible for $10,000 from the city of Greensboro to put toward the purchase.
But the assistance was also holding up her moving plans. She couldn’t close on the house until the money came through.
“I was answering the phone hoping every time that they’ll tell me the closing will be in 10 minutes,” she said. “It was frustrating having to wait.”
The house also had some peeling paint that had to be replaced.
Young, some co-workers and a contractor “went out there, and we were able to get it scraped off and get new paint,” Young said.
Finally, on May 1, Bundy got the call that she was good to go.
“Ms. Bundy, she went over to the attorney and sat outside for probably two hours, waiting to get inside to sign,” said Marcy Jones, the owner of AlmaJAnnie Realty. “I told her not to do that, but she said she was going there on faith and sitting there until they were ready. And, I also tip my hat to the city of Greensboro, who worked tirelessly to get this done.”
Bundy wore gloves and a surgical mask for the signing. When she finally got to the house, she found a red ribbon and bow at the front door.
“I thought I was going to lose my religion because it took so long,” she said. “But overall, things went well. And I’m very, very happy with my house. I just have a lot of work to do to get settled.”