Young family of four happy to finally move into new Habitat home on Pearl Street, Batavia
It was a long journey for James and Jessica Maskell and their two young children, Bailey and Sophie, to finally get to the day where they could move into their new home on Pearl Street.
The journey started long before the Maskells even knew they would get a home through Habitat for Humanity, when City Manager Jason Molino guided Habitat's Jessica Maguire-Tomidy and P.J. Riner through the house and Riner argued against Habitat taking on the project.
The house was such a mess, but according to Riner's account, Molino pressed the issue and Maguire-Tomidy agreed they should give it a try.
"The city is instrumental in its vision in developing these homes and these neighborhoods," Riner said. "Jason has brought that vision to fruition here in this home. He walked us through and I said, 'no.' I think it was the first time I ever said no to a house. This house looked terrible, but after we got started on this house, we found there was much here to be saved."
He said the house has a great floor plan, had a solid structure and turned out to be worth saving.
"I actually like doing these rehabs more than the new builds," he said. "These houses have more character and more space."
The long journey included hundreds of hours of volunteer labor from people throughout the community and students from RIT and thousands of dollars in donated material from area businesses.
"We after week, they show up when it's raining, it's snowing, it's cold, it's hot and they do the hard and very important work of building the actual house," Maguire-Tomidy said.
James Maskell said he and his wife were so grateful to all the volunteers and the donors that made their new home possible.
"We really didn't expect this to happen," Maskell said. "When we first signed up, we thought, why not give it a chance, and now, here we are."
Like all new Habitat homeowners, James and Jessica also pitched in on the rehab effort as their down payment on their mortgage.
"When we hand over a project like this that's complete, we feel like we've made a difference not only the in lives of the family but in the community we live in, Maguire-Tomidy said.