21-Year Old Baton Rouge Native Achieves Homeownership

UREC’s single-family home rehab initiative creates opportunities for new and first-time homebuyers

Chelsea Hitchens is a hard-working and ambitious young woman whose dream of homeownership recently came true. This year, the 21-year-old became a first-time home buyer after purchasing a home that Urban Restoration Enhancement Corporation (UREC) completely rehabilitated in the Holiday Wood neighborhood in North Baton Rouge.

In an important first step, Hitchens took an online homebuyer course to increase her homeownership knowledge. She then built up her savings while living with her parents, became approved for a loan, and started working with a realtor to scout potential homes.

Hitchens explored at least ten homes before committing to the 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom home UREC rehabilitated. She was thoroughly impressed with the modern upgrades to the property, which ultimately influenced her decision to purchase the home.

“The color of the interior and the backyard are my favorite features of the home. The gray is so pretty, and the backyard is big,” she said.  Most importantly, “I didn’t have to do anything to the home. It had everything I needed. I didn’t have to renovate anything.”

UREC’s rehabilitation of the property included the installation of a new roof, new flooring and fixtures, interior and exterior painting, enhancements to a spacious backyard with a brick patio and privacy fence, and new cooling and heating systems among other upgrades. UREC partnered with Alpha Enterprises, which served as the general contractor on the project.

The home Hitchens purchased is one of several homes in North Baton Rouge that UREC has rehabilitated since launching its Single-Family Rehab initiative in 2015. Through this community development initiative, UREC rehabilitates distressed homes in North Baton Rouge neighborhoods and makes them available for purchase at affordable rates.