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Dream Mortgage Center: Impacting Lives through Homeownership

Personal Banking
Dream Mortgage Center logo.

We are excited to announce our new Dream Mortgage Center in Columbia, SC! Southern First’s mission is to impact lives in the communities we serve, and one of the most impactful events in a person’s life is becoming a homeowner.

Homeownership is the largest source of wealth among families, according to the Federal Reserve. Housing wealth is gained through price appreciation and by paying off a mortgage. With incredibly rapid price appreciation in the last five years, gains in home equity have been even more significant. For example, a homeowner who purchased a typical existing single-family home in Columbia, SC five years ago has accumulated approximately $97,900 in home equity, of which $83,900 are from price appreciation, or 86% of total home equity gains.*

However, for many members of our communities, the path to homeownership can be daunting. Barriers that prevent minority families from becoming homeowners include lack of access to lenders and credit, lack of understanding and information about the homebuying process, and lack of capital for a down payment.

The Dream Mortgage Center is a new concept by Southern First – a mortgage lending and community center with the purpose of creating greater support and opportunities for all to achieve homeownership.

Located at 452 Killian Road, the Dream Mortgage Center will be situated in a high-traffic area of Richland County, where over 50 percent of the population is made up of minorities. This growing area is an ideal location for our team to form long-term relationships with community members and provide access to information and loan programs to fit their needs. With an open and flexible design, the space will accommodate events including homebuyer education courses, community meetings, and networking opportunities.

“Southern First believes in creating upward mobility through homeownership, and we are excited for more opportunities to do so through this space,” said Chris Shugart, Chief Mortgage Officer. “We see it as an approachable, welcoming place where partners and community members can gather to learn and work together to improve access to homeownership.”

The Dream Mortgage Center will be staffed with mortgage lending experts to help homebuyers find the right mortgage for their budget, from a variety of loan options – the Southern First Dream Mortgage, FHA, VA, USDA, and more - with low down payments and terms to fit any budget.**

The Dream Mortgage Center will open in the coming weeks, and we look forward to sharing more updates on this initiative with you.

“We are incredibly excited to open our Dream Mortgage Center,” commented Art Seaver, Chief Executive Officer of the company. “This is an innovative investment in the Columbia market and further demonstrates our commitment to impact lives.”

To learn more about mortgage loans or get in touch with one of our lenders, click here.


*Source: NAR calculations. Principal repayment is based on a 30-year fixed rate 10% down payment mortgage. The annual percent change is a compounded annual growth rate. These can be considered as typical gains.

** Loan originations are subject to underwriting and credit approval. Other terms, conditions and certain fees may apply.

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