It may not be a big city like Chicago or St. Louis, but for one young couple, Peoria, IL was the city that was meant to be home. Emily Becher says she and her partner, Pete Ollis, needed a location close to an airport with the convenience of nightlife and shopping nearby. They found all that in Peoria.Man and woman in kitchen with videographer

In terms of a house, Emily knew what she wanted.  A fenced backyard for her dog.  Space for guests. An area she could use to work from home. A two-car garage. And unlike a popular TV show where new homebuyers are often forced to compromise on their hopes, Emily found it all in Peoria.

Step 1: Pre-qualification Letter

Before she could go searching for her perfect space, she needed to understand what she could afford. To get to that number, she took the advice of her realtor and began by getting a mortgage pre-qualification letter. She chose to work with INB lender Stacy Borho, NMLS #: 689948 .

“As a first-time homebuyer I had no idea what to expect,” says Emily.  “I was surprised at how easy the process was.”  Emily simply completed the INB application which she could do on her phone or computer.

Step 2: Find the Perfect Home

Armed with her pre-qualification, Emily and her realtor took on the home search.  “We found a great place, tucked away. . .  Neighbors tell us that there have probably been four or five young couples move in and out of here over the last 12-15 years.” In other words, it’s a great starter home.

Step 3: Get the Loan

At that point, she could check both “pre-qualification letter,” and “ideal home” off her list. She was ready to buy.  So Stacy began her work. Because Emily was able to complete the application process online and text or call Stacy if she had questions, Emily and Stacy didn’t meet in person until it came time to close on the loan.  Emily admits she signed a lot of paper at that day, but says she couldn’t have been happier with the easy home loan process

Step 4: Move In and Live Life

Now, Emily says she and Pete live in the ideal location – close to the Shoppes at Grand Prairie – which gives them easy access to food and shopping. “We wanted to be in Peoria. We don’t have kids so we weren’t worried about that. We wanted to be more in the action in the city, and we wanted a place that was move-in ready.” Emily adds that Pete has a reasonable drive to Monmouth College, where he coaches, and the Peoria International Airport, as both of them travel for work.

And when they’re not traveling, Emily and Pete watch sports on TV and play games like Family Feud and Heads Up. In late spring, they bought furniture for their patio and now enjoy watching the dog romp in the backyard.

Stacy Borho says she is happy to be part of this young couple’s story. “I love my job because I’m part of a process that typically brings a lot of joy and happiness. I really appreciate that Emily was willing to talk about her experience. We like to think our process is quick and easy, but validation like this is awesome.” She adds that with all the home financing options people have, she is “blessed to be part of the transaction.”