November 18, 2022

My name is Devyn Forquer and I am the Grant Assistant for the Economic and Community Development Agency.  I am fortunate to have closed on my first home the first week of November, just in time for the holidays. I am overwhelmed with so many emotions - excitement, stress, uncertainty - but overall, I am thrilled to begin this new chapter in my life.

I’ve always been local to the Kankakee area but I never imagined myself buying my own home here. I have grown to love the community, opportunity, and friendship this city has to offer. When I started the preapproval process at the end of September, I didn’t have a home in mind. There were definitely some things I wanted, but having my own place was good enough for me – a thought that quickly changed once I began house hunting. As it turns out, I didn’t want a house with foundation cracks, or a cricket infestation, or water stains on the ceiling, or a closet under the stairs that is home to a single toilet – labeled as a half bathroom. False advertising maybe? I would’ve labeled it as a quarter bathroom, at best.

After a week of doom scrolling on Zillow, I was close to giving up on the process and then I had a break. Luckily, my dad told me about a family friend who was finishing renovations on a home he was flipping and asked me if I wanted to walk through. I viewed it and made an offer less than an hour later! A gorgeous 1940s cottage build: two bedrooms, two baths, a full basement, and a great backyard, completely renovated and restored. It’s all mine and I cannot wait to make it my own!

I imagine the homebuying process is a trying experience for most individuals, the first time likely (hopefully) being the hardest. Thankfully, the ECDA offers two resources that eases some of this stress. The ECDA has an online homebuyer’s course that covers the basics from applying for a loan, purchasing a home, and maintaining that home. This is an accredited course that is available to anyone, even if they are not looking to purchase a home in Kankakee. Many of our area mortgage lenders require the course as a qualification for their down payment assistance programs. The ECDA also offers their Kankakee Homebuyers Incentive Program (KHIP) that provides $2,500 in down payment assistance to first time homebuyers that purchase their home in Kankakee. Several new homeowners have been able to combine assistance from both KHIP and their mortgage lender to save on the upfront costs of purchasing a home. I personally took advantage of the online homebuyer’s course, which made me eligible for assistance through my lender.  

I have countless things to be grateful for this holiday season, this just happens to be the latest. Most people don’t know my New Year’s goal for 2022 was to buy my own home and I achieved it just in time to set my goal for 2023! Now if only these boxes would unpack themselves…



Numerous City of Kankakee employees and local residents have utilized either the online homebuyer’s course or the Kankakee Homebuyers Incentive Program offered by the Economic and Community Development Agency. So far this year, 6 city employees and 45 local residents have benefited from these opportunities. Reach out to us today and you could be next!