Originally from India, Ahmed and Fatima are naturalized U.S. citizens. Ahmed has lived in the U.S. for over 25 years and Fatima for over 30 years. Ahmed works in the tech industry, while Fatima holds a Master’s degree in commerce. Before spending the last few years focused on raising the kids as a stay-at-home parent, Fatima worked as a schoolteacher.
When stay at home orders were enacted in Santa Clara County last year, Ahmed started working from home. Their two older kids, ages 8 and 10, had to do distance learning, and the youngest, aged 4, occasionally made appearances in everyone’s virtual meeting.
Worried about increasing rent prices and the need to have enough room for a growing young family, Ahmed and Fatima learned though a homeownership webinar about the County of Santa Clara’s Empower Homebuyers SCC down payment assistance program as a path to homeownership.
“We knew that Empower was the perfect program for a middle class family like ours on a single income, with little savings,” said Ahmed and Fatima. “The 17% down payment assistance was our opportunity to purchase a home that would be the best investment for our growing family.”
After taking the required Homebuyer Education class, getting pre-approved for a loan from the senior lender, and finding a REALTOR® that they really liked by searching online, the family applied for the Empower program. They were approved. That meant they could start shopping for a home!
“Every day was new excitement!” they said. “We brought the entire family when we had appointments to look at homes. We made it a fun family activity.”
The family ended up looking at 14 homes. At times they had to be reminded by their REALTOR® to not give up, that things will work out. Then they found a cute single family home in San Jose with three bedrooms and a huge backyard. When they made the offer, they wrote a letter to the sellers sharing information about their family, their background, and their dream to own a home where they could put down roots and raise their family. Their offer was accepted. It was meant to be.
“While the entire process required a lot of paperwork, we knew that Housing Trust was always there for us,” said Ahmed. “They were patient and helpful every step of the way, especially since we’ve never purchased a home before. They were awesome!”
“We are thankful that we were able to go on this journey and hope that more people benefit from the program,” added Fatima.
The family moved into their new home a month ago and are enjoying making the space entirely their own. They already know that if they find that they outgrow their space as the kids grow up, they can always build onto the house and expand in the future.
Note: Empower Homebuyers SCC recently increased the maximum allowable purchase price of a home from $800,000 to $1,100,000 for borrowers who qualify – and live or work in Santa Clara County. For more information and to apply for this down payment assistance program, please visit housingtrustsv.org/empower. To attend the June 16th webinar on Empower Homebuyers SCC, register here.