Success Stories

Empowered by Home: Two South Bay Teachers Find Happiness in Morgan Hill

Kristy and David Empower Photo 10.14.21

Kristy and David are both teachers in the South Bay. Four years ago, when they moved from the East Coast, they settled in Morgan Hill and found they really liked the community. This was an important factor for them and their two daughters, and they dreamed of owning a home in the town they grew to love.  

They were especially motivated to become homeowners as they were tired of renting and living with the uncertainty of rent increases at any time or their landlord deciding to put their rental on the market (which did happen) and having to move again. In the Spring of 2020, Kristy received an email from her school district informing employees who were considering homeownership about Santa Clara County’s Empower Homebuyers SCC down payment assistance program, which was administered by Housing Trust. The timing was perfect!  

The couple did further research into other available first-time homebuyer and down payment assistance programs in the area. They concluded that the Empower program was the best choice for their family. With Empower, they could purchase a home in Morgan Hill, which is exactly where they want to be. 

After attending the Empower informational webinar during the Summer of 2020, followed by the online Homebuyer Education class through Project Sentinel, the couple prepared for the Empower program application. Kristy spent her weeklong February school break organizing and submitting their paperwork. By March, their application was approved! They started shopping for a home that Spring and closed on their townhouse by the end of May. 

The process was much faster than we expected. It was a lot of paperwork, which we understand, but we made sure to respond as quickly as we could and provide the required documents when they were needed. We were happy to see everyone come together to help us, from our lender, to our realtor, to Housing Trust staff.

-Kristy and David, teachers and first-time homebuyers in Morgan Hill

The house they bought wasn’t their first choice, but it was the best choice. In fact, when the first house they wanted didn’t work out, a week later the house they now own was listed. As it turns out, the backyard is larger, the neighbors are awesome, and the kids in the neighborhood are about the same age as their girls (ages 12 and 6). Everything worked out for the best!

For homebuyers interested in using down payment assistance to purchase their first home, Kristy and David recommend, “Really do your research and trust the program you end up choosing. Sometimes there is a negative connotation with down payment assistance and there shouldn’t be. Everyone has a different situation, and you should choose the best option that works for you. Housing Trust and the County really do want to help you. It’s a foot in the door, a way to get into homeownership.” 

Kristy and David are exactly where they want to be. “We would have never had the opportunity to purchase a home in this area if it wasn’t for the Empower Homebuyers SCC program. We are so happy with our house and the girls now have their own rooms. We even got a new dog!”