Sandra Gonzalez is used to working hard to get what she wants. As an Arizona native who can trace her family in Arizona back to the 1800’s, Sandra wanted nothing more than to own a home in the state she loved; however, circumstances were stacked against her. Sandra is a widow and a foster parent with two natural born daughters, three adopted children and (at present) two foster children. With so many mouths to feed on a single income she didn’t think homeownership was truly in her reach until she learned about Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix in February of 2013.

“The story of how I found Trellis is actually pretty funny,” said Sandra. “I had put in an
application for a job with the City of Avondale and was called in for an interview. I decided to look up
the Department the job was going to be in to see what the job would entail and discovered that one of
their units was grants. I then noticed that they had housing grants for the Avondale area. I called that
department and they gave me the phone number to NHS.” Sandra then called Trellis and after
explaining that she was interested in purchasing in Avondale she was assigned to Aris Perez, a housing
counselor working at Trellis’s west branch.

“Working with Aris from the Avondale office was great,” said Sandra. “She explained everything to me –
what steps were next, things I needed to do, and what to expect.” After receiving pre-purchase
counseling Sandra decided to apply for Arizona’s Home in 5 Advantage program. This program is designed to
help home buyers obtain FHA, VA, or USDA-RD loan financing to purchase a home anywhere in Maricopa
County. Through the Home in 5 program, individuals or families who qualify would be able to obtain a 30-year
fixed rate loan, with a non-repayable 5% down payment/closing cost assistance grant. In order to qualify for the
Home in 5 Advantage program Sandra was required to attend an 8 hour Homebuyer Education class through
Trellis. “The class helped me to understand a lot of the terminology used that I wouldn’t have known
before,” said Sandra. “It also helped a lot on what steps were to be taken and to make sure I wasn’t being fooled
by what I was being told.”

In April Sandra completed her Homebuyer Education class and began her search for a home in Avondale.
Luckily, her search didn’t last long and by the end of June she had closed on the house of her dreams. “It
feels wonderful to be living in my very own home,” said Sandra. “Being a homeowner is every bit as
good as I had dreamed. I have the pride of being a homeowner and my kids have the security of knowing
that we have our own home and can’t be asked to move out by a landlord.”