Stars of HGTV’s Bargain Block, Community Financial Credit Union launch partnership to make homebuying more attainable for Detroiters

PLYMOUTH, MI (February 1, 2023) — NINE Design + Homes, the Detroit-based retail store and design studio behind HGTV’s Bargain Block show, has partnered with Community Financial Credit Union (CFCU) to help more Michiganders attain affordable housing. The recently launched partnership is dedicated to helping first-time, oft-overlooked homebuyers navigate Detroit’s changing real estate landscape.

Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas of NINE Design + Homes host Bargain Block, an HGTV program in which the partners restore rundown or abandoned Detroit homes into affordable, stylish starter homes for first-time buyers. Bynum and Thomas have renovated over 40 homes with more than 32 of them appearing on Bargain Block, which is in its second season on HGTV.

To expand the impact of Bynum and Thomas’ efforts, they have selected metro Detroit-based, $1.5 billion CFCU as their official financing partner. The partnership’s shared vision is to ease the barriers to homeownership for first-time homebuyers.

With Bynum and Thomas’ expertise in preparing homes for market, blended with CFCU’s commitment to financing that serves the needs of first-time homebuyers, the partnership plans to pursue projects over the coming months that will address the current pain points in metro Detroit’s housing market. The partnership will also explore a possible charitable foundation.

“As Detroit’s single-family home market has started to cool, it is allowing many first-time homebuyers previously priced out of the market to revisit their goal of achieving homeownership,” said Bynum and Thomas. “With the power of a financial partner like CFCU by our side, we’re eager to take our efforts to the next level. By elevating our abilities to bring the dream of homeownership to more people, it will positively impact our community and give a boost to metro Detroit’s economic development efforts as a whole.”

As a first step, CFCU has developed a special purpose credit program called Path to Homeownership. The credit union developed the program for buyers who may not qualify for conventional loans, with unique elements including no minimum credit score, low or no down payment, consideration for consistent rent payments, and valuation options. Path to Homeownership emphasizes fast decision-making, understanding the challenges many homebuyers face with closing on mortgages given the often-lengthy approval process amidst market or valuation fluctuations. This latest product builds upon CFCU’s offerings to help buyers secure financing and homeownership, including its signature 0% down payment program.

“As a credit union, our approach to underwriting puts the borrower’s best interest first. We believe in walking with our members toward their impossible dreams, and we know that for many having a home where people can spend time and create memories with those they love feels impossible today. We commit to changing that,” added Tansley Stearns, president & ceo of Community Financial Credit Union. “We’re honored to serve as the financing partner for the good work that Keith and Evan are doing for the people of Detroit. Alongside Keith and Evan, we’re here to think boldly and ensure more Michiganders’ visions of homeownership come true.”

The partnership will celebrate its launch with CFCU marketing campaigns featuring Bynum and Thomas, three “Keith & Evan” artistic designs for CFCU debit cards, featuring the duo as guests on CFCU’s recently launched podcast – Despite Impossible – and more.

About Community Financial Credit Union

The relationship with members is everything because Community Financial Credit Union is always looking out, standing beside members in every season of life. Community Financial is a full-service financial institution headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan since 1951 with 15 branches in Southeast and Northern Michigan and $1.6 billion in assets. Membership is open to any person or any business in the state of Michigan. Community Financial is deeply rooted in the communities it serves, offering programs and partnerships like student-run credit unions, an obstacle-free path to homeownership, and more. To learn more about Community Financial and why on earth there’s a bear on the logo, visit

About NINE Design + Homes

Builder and carpenter Evan Thomas alongside his partner, designer/artist/builder Keith Bynum, own NINE Design + Homes, a metro Detroit-based retail store and design studio. The couple also stars in HGTV’s series Bargain Block in which they work together to buy as many rundown and abandoned houses as they can on a single block and renovate them into appealing and affordable properties for Detroiters.


Lauren Detwiler
Public Relations Director
VVK PR + Creative
Phone: 248-884-1421

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