Every morning, Crystal goes out to the backyard to play with her kids and enjoy the extra space that their new Gilroy home provides. With the help of the Empower Homebuyers SCC program, she and her husband are the first in their families to own a home. “We love the Bay Area, and we hope that this will be our forever home to pass down to our children and future generations,” shares Crystal.
Crystal first learned about the Empower Homebuyers SCC Program a few years ago after spotting flyers for an Informational Session at the Santa Clara County Office of Education. At the time, she was a single mom working at a local charter school. The class introduced Crystal to the program, but she was uncertain whether the down payment or closing costs were realistic for her.
Fast forward a few years later, Crystal married and now holds a dual income with her husband, Luis. In February of last year, she received an email about the program and had another opportunity to take the Homebuyer class. “That lit a fire beneath me to see the process and that it was a really viable option for our family,” says Crystal. “We have three children, and I want to be able to give them generational wealth.”
Crystal and Luis were ready to dive into the process, motivated by their calculations on the steep cost of rent. They became more aware of how and where they were spending as they saved. Both recognized that owning a home was an investment in their future and their children’s future.
Their savings amidst the pandemic and the support of the Housing Trust team made a difference in propelling them toward their goal. Crystal states, “The homebuyer team were really educational and patient with us, explaining the entire process.”
Crystal and her family’s search came full circle, as the first home they visited in Gilroy ultimately became their first choice. Born and raised in San José, Crystal and Luis were overjoyed to land a beautiful home in the South Bay near dear family and friends.
Coming from a two-bedroom apartment, the transition to a three-bedroom home with a backyard, garage, and two living rooms was a big deal for the whole family. The two eldest daughters now have their own room, and the second living room has become the family game room, with a huge table for family game night. Crystal, Luis, and their kids have been enjoying having a larger space to play and grow. They also enjoy getting to know their neighborhood and the community in Gilroy while adapting to a new commute. Crystal now works as a payroll manager at a private school in San José while Luis is an assistant manager for an HVAC supply company.
Crystal advises individuals interested in the Empower program to be patient with the process and prepare to have the paperwork needed for the program. “You have to make sure you are in touch with your loan advisor, constantly check emails, and really touch base with each other.”
“We really appreciate the Empower program for giving service workers such as myself and other teaching staff the ability to afford our own home in this area,” says Crystal. “It’s such a blessing.”
Interested first-time homebuyers are encouraged to attend a free Information Session to learn more about the Empower Homebuyers SCC program. For more information, please visit https://housingtrustsv.org/empower.