Company: Consumer Electronics Association.
Number of employees: 150.
Nobody believed Kinsey Miller Fabrizio when she told them her employer would be paying for most of the down payment on her new home — not her mom, not her dad and definitely not the folks at Chase, her mortgage lender.
“Everyone was totally bewildered,” she said. “They were like ‘What? Your company is going to do what? We need to see proof.’ ”
Since 2008, the Consumer Electronics Association has been giving $25,000 loans to cover down payments and closing costs for employees who buy homes in Arlington.
One-third of the loan is forgiven every year, so that employees who stay with the company for at least three more years do not have to pay anything back.
“It’s a way for us to invest in our local community,” said Glenda MacMullin, the association’s chief financial officer.
To qualify, employees must be in good standing and must have worked at the association for at least one year. Eighteen employees have used the benefit so far.
Steve Kidera, a communications specialist at the company, put the loan toward a $120,000 down payment on a two-bedroom condo in Arlington two years ago.
“It’s a great perk,” Kidera, 30, said. “All of my friends were so jealous.”
Fabrizio, a senior manager at the association, said she and her husband would not have been able to afford a house in Arlington had it not been for the loan.
In the end, the $25,000 went a long way, she said. It cut down on the size of the mortgage, which meant saving money on interest for years to come.
And the people who thought the CEA’s loan was too good to be true? Well, they came around eventually.
“When my dad finally saw the house, he was like ‘OK, I believe you now,’” Frabrizio said. “Then it was real.”