ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The dream of becoming a homeowner seemed nearly impossible for disabled Army veteran Cesar Ordonez, but now his dreams are coming true.
Ordonez served eight years in the Army, with two tours in Iraq.
“I ended up in Iraq around 2004,” Ordonez said. “I very proudly volunteered for my tour and, over time, somehow, I hurt myself. I’m not entirely sure how and that was enough to put me out and they said, ‘you can go back home now and start your life.'”
He said the road to home ownership upon returning stateside wasn’t easy.
“I went in, initially, I really wanted a fancy, fully finished home, but they move fast,” he said. “Some homes were selling in two days. It was incredible.”
Ordonez said he viewed about 100 homes in his search.
“It was part of the learning process. The first house I looked at would’ve been really cool, because it was just blocks away from my parent’s house. It was really cool. But, I sat on it a little too long,” he lamented.
With the advice of his realtor, Ordonez expanded his options and found a house.
“As soon as I pulled into the neighborhood and saw the size of the house, and just looking all around, you can hear how quiet it is. I thought, without question, this is it,” he recalled.
Connor Brown, the CEO of Rockford Area Realtors, said, “There [are] some wonderful loan programs out there that veterans can take advantage of, with very low interest rates. There’s also the State of Illinois for Disabled Vets. They will reduce or eliminate property taxes for them, so it’s very friendly for veterans.”
Ordonez hopes his purchase will inspire other veterans to fulfill their dreams of home ownership.
“Any veterans out there that think this isn’t possible, just do it. Ask a lot of questions and just go for it. It’ll happen,” he said.
Ordonez says he’s only days away from closing on the home, and says he’s excited at the prospect of fixing it up and making it his own.