On a lazy Sunday afternoon last summer, Lauren and Pono Gomes decided to visit D.R. Horton’s Mehana community in Kapolei at the suggestion of Lauren’s aunty, a local real estate agent. As Lauren, a senior enrollment specialist at University of Phoenix in Kapolei describes, “We ended up at Olino and made it very clear we were there to only look.” Once the young couple talked to sales manager C. Ryan Gross and DHI Mortgage specialist Kim Biggs, they grew excited about the potential to purchase a home of their very own. In the last eight years they moved five times, only to find rentals that did not have long-term stability. Also in this time period they had two children; daughter Jersey and son Caleb.
“Moving from rental to rental was hard on us, especially when the kids came,” said Pono Gomes, who works for the state’s Department of Transportation. “We never imagined paying the same amount to own as we were paying to rent. And to think, this is ours, we own it!”
Lauren describes the sales process as “easy and a great experience.” When they returned home after their first visit to Olino, Lauren turned to Pono and exclaimed, “I cannot believe it, we just bought a brand new house!” In the months to come they worked closely with Kim from DHI Mortgage to get everything in order and to prepare to move into their two-bedroom, two-bathroom townhome. These days, they spend lots of time at Sundial Park in Mehana and look forward to swimming at the pool at the Mehana Activities Center.
D.R. Horton Hawaii began selling homes under the affordable guidelines determined by the City & County of Honolulu when it was Schuler Homes in 1987. The first affordable homes built by the company were Mahi Ko at Waikele on Oahu, Kihei Villages on Maui, Paniolo Estates on the Big Island and Halelani Village on Kauai. In total, more than 3,000 affordable homes have been made available throughout the state, with more planned in Mehana and Ho’opili on Oahu.
“The local company was founded here over 40 years ago with a mission to provide homes to the local families that work hard every day,” said Bob Bruhl, president of D.R. Horton Hawaii. “This is what we pride ourselves on. We at D.R. Horton Hawaii feel truly blessed to help turn the dream of homeownership into a reality. We wholeheartedly thank Lauren and Pono for allowing us the opportunity to provide their family with a house they will make a home in a neighborhood they are helping become a great community.”