Daring to Dream: A Millennial First-Time Home Buyer


Minerva Gomez of Stanton is part of a new generation of home buyers. Young, educated, philanthropic, and career-oriented, she joined the slow-growing ranks of millennial first-time home buyers in 2014.  For this generation of potential new buyers, the obstacles can seem insurmountable. Often saddled with student loans and credit card debt, finding their way on the path to homeownership can feel like a daunting task. Though she is the rare exception to many of her peers, by managing to graduate with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree debt-free, Minerva’s path to homeownership was not without its own challenges.

Born in Mexico and raised in Orange County since the age of five, Minerva shared the American dream of homeownership with countless others.  After obtaining an advanced degree and establishing herself professionally in the non-profit sector, she set off to achieving her most sought-after goal:  purchasing her own home in Orange County. “The final step of the American dream is owning a home. It’s something I needed to feel long-term stability”, Minerva shares. To achieve her homeownership goal, Minerva turned to NeighborWorks Orange County for guidance and support. 


In 2012 Minerva met with our Friendly Expert, Blanca Magallanes, and created a personalized Roadmap to HomeOwnership Success.  Her homework included improving her credit, meeting a two year employment requirement, and increasing savings for down payment and closing costs. Minerva followed her roadmap with determination.  With Blanca out on medical leave, Minerva began working with HomeOwnership Advisor Helen Tran to update her file in 2013. During this meeting, Helen revised the plan to help  Minerva accelerate her debt pay off and savings strategy, which enabled her to pay off $413/mo. of credit card and auto loan debt, while saving $1000 a month.

Despite all her hard work, good income, credit, work history, and 5% ($10,000) of the purchase price in savings, Minerva was still not able to bridge the financial gap for a starter home in Orange County’s extremely high-cost housing market. Fortunately, with the little extra push provided by our CalHome and Daisy down payment programs, and the excellent support of our in-house Realtor®, Sylvia Badillo, Minerva is now the proud owner of a 2-bedroom, 1 ½ bath condominium in La Habra.

When asked how she achieved her goal, Minerva states, “Receiving the right coaching, being good with your money, having the right down payment programs and people alongside you is key.”


Photos by Joel Rahmatulla