Strong Blocks Rent to Own Milwaukee Program

"The choice was easy to go with the Rent to Own program because of going through the info I got online...and the houses in the program were in the areas that we wanted to stay in which was close to my family."

- Darryl | Strong Blocks Rent to Own Milwaukee Resident

″I grew up in Milwaukee, off of 28th and Center. There were 3 boys, mother and father. I am the youngest, my brothers are 9 and 11 years older than me. Pops worked, hauling scarp metal his whole life, provided for us. My mom stayed home until I was 16, after that she decided she wanted to go out and get her own job. She worked in the evenings doing security. My brothers had moved out by then and my moms had took in my two cousins cuz they had nowhere else to go. Also my oldest brother had a son so he was staying with us. So when my mom started working, I babysat my cousins and nephew after school. In my senior year of high school, I went to school half the day and then worked half the day. I wanted to stay on at that job after I graduated but they needed someone who was still in school. I wanted to go to college but I didn't want to go right away. It took me a little bit to find a school too. So it was about finding a job and I got one at a bank. When another bank bought the one I was working at, that prompted me to start doing computer work, somthing that interested me since I was in grade school. Then when a position opened up at my current job, a coworker told me I was wasting my time at the bank and that I should apply there. It was temp to hire and that transitioned into full time employment. Been there nine years now and I have held several different postions. I am in tech support now.

"What really pushed us to move and look at home ownership was when they raised the rent and then they wanted to raise it again but never really did any work on the house."

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″I live with my wife and two kids, who are 8 and 5. We had been staying at one place since my older one was 1, so we were there about 7 years. What really pushed us to move was when they raised the rent and then they wanted to raise it again but never really did any work on the house. Also, the area was pretty nice when we moved in but it changed over the years, with different people moving in and out and bad things happening. I needed to get my kids away from the shooting. It got where I couldn’t have my kids outside. It wasn’t just the shooting but the fact that the neighbors had dogs and a faulty fence. My kids like to be outside and we had a nice size yard and we wanted a fence that I was even going to pay for but the landlord wouldn’t do it. So it was time to go cuz I can’t be in a place where my kids have to stay in the house"


Small Check Out Our Available Homes

"We looked at a bunch of places to rent but weren’t really finding anything and then when I was looking at Zillow, that’s how we came across Strong Blocks. It came up as an advertisement alongside the listing of places to rent. My wife and I looked at three different houses in the program and once we saw this one, my wife fell in love with it. She really liked the amount of space and the size of the rooms. Another selling point was the yard on the side of the house which gave us more room and it is quieter. The choice was easy to go with the Rent-to-Own program because of going through the info I got online, from Tanika at Friends of Housing, and the testimonials from the Strong Blocks website. The houses in the program were in the areas that we wanted to stay in which was close to my family and were big enough. The program is not one that you can really pass up. They help you through everything that you need to do.  During the qualification process, everything went smooth and went quicker than we thought. Even with Tanika being on vacation during this time, we still got everything done within a 2 week time frame. [Strong Blocks] was great and even the follow-up afterwards, once we got everything completed, was more than anyone could ask for."


"The reason my wife and I entered into the Rent-to-Own program is because the house becomes your place, and it's actually a home. It's yours, you have something to give to your kids. To me, that's a big thing. I grew up with my family and I love my family and for me to have something to pass to my kids is great. A house doesn’t change. As long as you keep up with the repairs and you do improvements, it's only going to get better so it's not a bad investment.  My parents moved and now they stay right down the street from us. That was one of the reasons we were trying to get back into the area here because that’s where my kids spend most of their day. My kids can ride their bikes down there or my mom can come over to our house. My youngest goes to school right around the corner and my mom picks him up. This is really helpful cuz my work schedule is all over the place and I don’t have a lot of free time. When I do, I either do my video gaming or take the kids rollerskating or spend time with my family. I try to spend as much time with my kids as I can. We all do Mario Kart and if they are up for it we do Xbox Kinect  and they get a kick out of that. It keeps them active and busy."

"In the next five years I want to be living in this house and my kids enjoying their time here and me working for myself."

"There are so many things I could do so I am still figuring it out. My family and I would like to go into business for ourselves so hopefully that will work out in the future.

- Darryl| Strong Blocks Rent to Own Milwaukee Resident

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Ready to move into a rent to own Milwaukee home like Michael? The Strong Blocks 21-month rent to own program may be for you if you aren't quite able to qualify for a mortgage and you need more time to work on your finances. If you'd like to learn more from a human, sign up for our next Weekly Orientation by clicking the image below...

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Mary Leach-Sumlin, Any House Realty

Written by Mary Leach-Sumlin, Any House Realty

Mary Leach-Sumlin is the owner/Broker of Any House Realty, which she founded in 2017. Prior to launching her own real estate firm, Mary was a Realtor for ACTS Housing since 2007, and then the Managing Broker. She has an office located inside St. Martin de Porres Parish on 2nd and Burleigh. She holds the Accredited Buyer's Representative designation. She has helped more than 200 families achieve their homeownership dreams. You can email her at

Topics: Rent to Own, Neighborhood Revitalization, Buying a Home

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