Originally from Poland, Aga and Rafal moved to Boulder from Schaumburg, IL nearly five years ago when Rafal was offered a job with Boulder County The couple has found a lot to love about living in Colorado; they spend lots of time outdoors enjoying the sunshine and mountains with their two children Amelia (9) and Tobias (6). However, the high cost of living in their new community has been a difficult adjustment.
The family of four is currently living in a small two-bedroom apartment located above a local business in Boulder. Lack of necessities like a functional kitchen and a play area make life with two small children feel cramped and stressful. And the constant stream of customers near the apartment - which shares a main entrance with the business - can make Rafal and Aga’s home sometimes feel insecure.
These problems came to mind when Rafal first heard about Flatirons Habitat. A financial counselor with Boulder County let Rafal know that Habitat was looking for new partner families. Rafal realized that affordable homeownership could be a good fit for his family.
“I hoped that it would help us find some stability and more comfortable living,” said Rafal.
Now, Rafal and Aga are beginning their sweat equity and looking forward to the completion of their new home. They describe their family as very happy and positive. Homeownership, they think, will help their family find even more happiness. Freedom from worrying about the next increase in rent will allow Rafal and Aga more peace of mind. But the little things that come along with owning a home - decorating how they would like to, giving the children their own rooms - will make a big difference for Rafal and Aga, too.
With two young children, Rafal and Aga are looking forward to the sense of community that will come with their new home at Palo Park, a family-friendly development with units build by both Flatirons Habitat and the City of Boulder. Their children are excited to finally have space for a cat or dog, and to work on art projects and enjoy family time in their new home.
Rafal and Aga are also enjoying sweat equity, including meeting the volunteers who come to help build their home. Giving back to the community has always been important to Rafal and Aga. Now that their home is being built by the hands of their neighbors, they feel even more strongly about it. When the children are old enough, Aga wants to pass on the skills that she and her husband are learning during sweat equity.
“Then they can give back too, and do it for generations,” said Aga.
Photo Credit: Malory Toscano