Success Stories

Empowered by Home: Laura’s Family

Almost exactly a year after she attended an informational presentation about the County of Santa Clara’s Empower Homebuyers SCC program, Laura and her two kids moved into their new home. She did her research to compare the Empower Homebuyers SCC down payment assistance program with local below market rate programs. Ultimately, she decided the County’s program was right for her because she liked the terms of repayment and share of appreciation, and the program was more flexible.

A senior accountant in the public sector, Laura is a hard-working single mom of a 13 year old boy and 7 year old girl. Born and raised in San Jose, her parents did not own their home, and it was always a goal of hers to someday achieve that dream. “Pride of ownership may sound cliché, but it explains how I feel,” Laura said. “It feels good that I was able to accomplish this goal for my family.” 

After her first offer on a home didn’t work out, Laura looked at a townhouse in San Jose. A three bedroom with spacious balconies and a bonus room, it had plenty of space for the family to do distance learning and work remotely. “It was perfect for us,” she said. Laura made an offer and wrote a letter to the seller, explaining her situation and that she was using the down payment assistance program to help with the loan. This time, she got the house.

Although Laura admits that, at first, she was intimidated by the application process for the Empower Homebuyers SCC program, Housing Trust staff were, “Very helpful and professional every step of the way.” It also helped that the staff member who gave the informational presentation – and set the expectation that it could take some homebuyers up to a year to go through the process to purchase their first home – ended up being the underwriter for her Empower loan. While her application process was probably more involved and took longer (she paused for a few months when the pandemic began), “It was totally worth it.”

For people who may need help with down payment assistance and who dream of owning a home, Laura advises, “Definitely look into it. If you have doubts, push those aside for a moment, and take the time to understand the program. Take the Homebuyer Education class, which will help you realize that you can do it. Be patient and go for it.”

Our next Zoom presentation on Empower Homebuyers SCC is on Thursday, January 21st at 2:00pm. Learn about down payment assistance in Santa Clara County and register here.

Laura’s journey to homeownership was not only made possible by her hard work and patience, but also her REALTOR® and the seller’s – as they knew about the Empower Homebuyers SCC program. If you’re a REALTOR® interested in the learning about down payment assistance, click here.