A home that has so much more meaning
When Jon and Erica Weaver walked into the new Affinity Plus branch in Mahnomen and asked about getting a mortgage, it was a first for everyone.
For Jon and Erica, it was the first house they purchased together, and would be the place they built their future. And for the team at the Mahnomen branch, it was the first mortgage they’d ever worked on with their members.
“It was a completely new product for us,” Amanda Jaeger, branch manager, said.
Affinity Plus merged with White Earth Reservation Federal Credit Union in 2022, and the former credit union hadn’t offered mortgages as a service. So with their request, the Weavers kicked off a new era for their family and the entire community. The team in Mahnomen got the support they needed from their counterparts at other Affinity Plus branches, and the Weavers got the chance at their dream home.
It all started because Erica happened to see the house on the market in December 2022.
She’d wanted to buy it a couple years before, because it had all the space her growing family needed. The property also came with a 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom apartment, which the Weavers knew had plenty of potential.
When it disappeared off the market in 2020, Erica almost gave up on the dream. Then suddenly, there it was: again. Although the new asking price was way out of their budget, Erica had hopes that this could still become their forever home. Then, it happened, the asking price began dropping. By the time it hit their target price range, Erica had convinced husband Jon that it was time to take a chance. Especially now that they had 5 kids, ranging in age from 1 to 14.
“[Jon] was happy with his old house, it’s paid off, but now we have too many people in too small of a space. We really needed a bigger area,” Erica said.
Having been members at White Earth Reservation Federal Credit Union before the merger, they approached Affinity Plus about the mortgage. They checked other sources for competing offers, but decided on Affinity Plus for the rates, service, and the convenience of having a branch location and a top-rated mobile banking app.
“It was the obvious choice,” Erica said.
Branch Manager Amanda Jaeger said the mortgage process went smoothly, especially since Affinity Plus offers in-house title services. And to the Weavers, the process felt “effortless.” They purchased their dream home, and have enough room for everyone, plus even some extra space.
“And now we have a new start together,” Erica said.
The couple’s apartment is currently occupied by Erica’s mother and grandmother, giving their kids the opportunities for priceless moments with family while also caring for their elders. And the couple would like to do more for their community – including foster care – now that they have the space for it.
Jon is an active and enrolled member of the White Earth Nation, helping with cultural activities, powwows and ceremonies. As a child, Jon was placed in boarding schools and eventually adopted as a teenager.
He now works as an employment counselor, with a previous career as a mental health and substance abuse counselor. Erica’s mother and grandmother are also enrolled members, and the Weavers have been approached before about foster care.
With their new home, the Weavers now believe they can provide foster children with the consistency, support, and sense of acceptance and belonging that children need to thrive.