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Members like Koby and Jessika

Helping first-time home-owners like Koby and Jessika

Starting a new life together…and making an impossible dream become reality


“It’s pretty easy. You sign your name like thirty times, and just like that, you get a house.”—Kyle Elliott, WCU Mortgage Loan Officer.


“We just bought our first house!”



Outside, Koby Boese and Jessika Abbrescia break out the champagne. Literally, once the cork pops, it sprays everywhere…and Abbrescia, grinning from ear to ear, is all too happy to help it along with a joyful shake—watching the bubbles spray all over the green expanse of their new lawn. Their dog, Pinot, looks on, mystified.

It’s not just any bottle they’ve just uncorked. Handwritten, in gold lettering, reads the following: buy a house.

In 2023, the average price of a house in Montana was over $420,000. In order to secure a mortgage, the average homebuyer would need a deposit of roughly $70,000, which is a lot of money for couples in their twenties (like Boese and Abbrescia) or in their early thirties. As Millennials and Gen Z start increasing their earning power and eyeing up the possibilities, they start realizing that homebuying—which was an accessible option for their parents—is becoming an increasing challenge for anyone who hasn’t already bought a home and is locked in a mortgage.

"Simply put, there are a lot of young Americans looking to buy their first home at a time when the housing supply is still low.”


KobyJessNewHome2.pngAnd with so many Millennials looking to buy into an already scarce supply, it’s driving the cost of housing up for their younger cohorts.

“In 2020, millennials overtook baby boomers as the largest generation,” reports Cork Gaines for Business Insider. “That group, roughly aged from the mid-20s to early 40s, is also entering their prime home-buying years, with the average age of first-time home buyers at 36. Simply put, there are a lot of young Americans looking to buy their first home at a time when the housing supply is still low.”

And yet, somehow, Boese and Abbrescia managed to make their dream come true. The question is simply, how?

It turns out there are plenty of options, and Whitefish Credit Union’s First-Time Homebuyer’s Program offers first-timers some flexible options for down payments, offering a selection of competitive rates and terms and eliminating the need for Private Mortgage Insurance—known as PMI—which is usually required for homebuyers who are unable to make a large deposit (less than 20 percent).

“Two years ago, I never would have even thought I’d be owning a home,” says Boese, “with a perfect woman, with a dog—”

Abbrescia laughs lightly. “It’s a good time of life right now.”

“One day [his sister and I] were just over at her house having a barbeque, and in walked Koby,” she says, smiling widely.

Boese’s smile is almost as wide. “As soon as she came out down the stairs, it was like, ‘Ho-lee cow.’” They exchange a look, their eyes shining at the memory.



“The First-Time Homebuyer’s Program’s amazing because Whitefish Credit Union don’t force us to have PMI.”

“We even pushed back getting pre-approved for mortgages because we were like, ‘There is just no way we could get pre-approved, like, we just started our careers!’” Abbrescia laughs.

Like many younger couples and folks starting out professionally, Boese and Abbrescia were worried that they didn’t have the financial means to own a home of their own. While Abbrescia works as a physician assistant, Boese is a small business owner who runs a sod-install business.




“Millennials have been hit hard financially, with more debt and a lower net worth than their parents had at the same life stage,” points out Gaines. “Growing that wealth has been made more difficult due to the drop in housing supply over the last 15 years, which has pushed prices up and made it that much harder to get into the market. Housing supply has remained low in the last two years as many older Americans have chosen to stay put in their mortgage-free homes or with mortgages locked in at lower interest rates.”

Some Millennials have been fortunate to have financial help from their families or flexibility about living at home while they save. But for a young married couple just starting out, the landscape seems grim…at first.

“We don’t have the best financial history, like lending history,” admits Boese.


“I truly thought buying a house was a scary process,” says Boese.

“It’s more attainable than you may realize,” adds Abbrescia.


“Just ‘cause we’re young, I have all these student loans,” Abbrescia adds, laughing. “There was just no way! And we just sat down, and four hours later, we got preapproval, and at that point, we just got more serious. And we’re like, ‘Ok, I guess this is gonna happen, that’s totally doable for us.”

Now, with saucy little Pinot the dog in tow, Boese and Abbrescia have been handed the keys to their new home and to start a whole new life—together.

All they needed to do was ask questions…and consider the possibilities. And, of course, get a little extra guidance from their friendly neighborhood WCU Mortgage Loan Officer.

“I truly thought buying a house was a scary process,” says Boese.

“It’s more attainable than you may realize,” adds Abbrescia.



Curious about Whitefish Credit Union’s First Time Homebuyer’s plans and how they can help you? Get some of your questions answered here.

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