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Category Archives: Success Stories

“Going to that seminar was one of the smartest financial decisions we ever made…”

We LOVE hearing success stories from local employees who achieved their dreams of home ownership with the help of Coastal Housing savings. It’s so inspiring – that’s why we come to work every day! Here’s one we received recently.

“Yes, I am a Coastal Housing success story!  We bought a beautiful 10-year-old home and moved in last June.

We attended a very helpful and informative Coastal Housing seminar at their Home Buying Fair, and we were very impressed by one of the featured speakers. It was Ruth Ann Bowe of Village Properties, and we chatted with her after the seminar.  We told her that if we were ever in the market, we would want her to represent us.  She kept in touch.

Later, we found out that we were going to have to move because our landlords were moving back from the east coast into their place here in Santa Barbara.  Thanks to the Coastal Housing seminar, our eyes had been opened to the possibility that we could actually afford a place in this very difficult market.  When we realized we had to move, Ruth Ann was there for us when we really needed her.  She and her assistant, Kristen, were both very kind, patient and helpful.  We later found out that her team had sold 4 different properties that month—ours being the least expensive by far—but they treated us as though we were their only clients.

Because my employer is a member of Coastal Housing Partnership, I was able to access its savings program. We saved several thousand dollars because of contributions from our realtor, the lender and even the inspection company. My fiancee’s goddaughter also ended up purchasing a condo after attending the same seminar.  Going to that seminar was one of the smartest financial decisions we ever made, and we are now very happy in our own home!

Thank you again for the wonderful service that you provide!”

-Curvature Employee

Ventura County Fire Department Captain saves $5,000 on closing costs

Anthony Romero Ventura County Fire Department Chief

Ventura County Fire Department Captain Anthony Romero thought he would have to rent for the rest of his life; he’d been looking for a home to purchase for years. Romero and his wife Monica had seen prices escalate and were continually outbid when they made offers. As their family grew, they almost gave up hope. When Romero found out that his employer provided him a housing benefit through nonprofit Coastal Housing Partnership, the picture became brighter. Today, his home purchase is one of the many success stories Coastal Housing Partnership is proud to have been a part of.

As a result of Coastal Housing Partnership programs, the Romero family received a $5000 credit toward closing costs from the builder, in addition to receiving a significant credit from the on-site lender toward closing costs.

Since its inception, Coastal Housing Partnership has helped thousands of families become home owners. Coastal Housing Partnership’s 5th Annual Home Buying Fair will be on Saturday, May 14, 2016 from 10am to 3pm at the Ventura Beach Marriott and will provide attendees with the tools to get on their path to home ownership.


Admission for the 5th Annual Home Buying Fair is free for employees of Coastal Housing Partnership members, $5 for adults, and children under 18 are free.

To read more about Anthony Romero and his home buying success story, read the press release by clicking here. To RSVP for the Home Buying Fair, click here.

Katherine and Ignacio became homeowners

“Home ownership is only impossible if you don’t get on the right path. Get informed, understand the process, get your finances in order and figure out what you can afford. And contact Coastal Housing Partnership!”
– Ignacio Ponce and Katherine Firkins


Katherine Firkins and Ignacio Ponce at their home in Santa Barbara, Ca.  The couple tapped the educational resources and the Network Partners of Coastal Housing Partnership to help them buy their first home.  Ignacio’s employer, Santa Barbara City College is an Employer Member of Coastal Housing Partnership.

Ever since Ignacio Ponce started working for Santa Barbara City College, he and his partner Katherine Firkins (who works for Cal State Northridge) had the desire to own their own home in Santa Barbara. Despite their desire to own in the city where he works, there was always this thought in the back of their minds: “Will we ever have to move somewhere else where housing is more affordable?” Through Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) coworkers, the couple heard about Coastal Housing Partnership, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the community by assisting local employees with their housing needs. SBCC is an Employer Member of Coastal Housing Partnership (CHP); all SBCC employees have free access to their free education, resources and the network of professionals to assist in the home buying process.

“We always wanted a home in Santa Barbara, but because we were not familiar with the process, we had a lot of doubts. We always thought it would be more expensive than it actually is. We attended a Coastal Housing Partnership home buying seminar in 2011. We learned a lot about the process and although we realized weren’t quite ready, the information we got from the seminar reassured us we could do it. Every time we asked for information, we always got a prompt and very professional response. This always made us feel more confident during the whole process.”

Katherine Firkins and Ignacio Ponce bought their condominium in Santa Barbara in July of 2013. “We love that our home is actually ours and no one else’s! We love that we are actually investing our money rather than paying rent. For us it is a huge achievement. We know it may sound cliché’, but it really feels like “home sweet home” every time we walk in the front door. The wealth of information we got from CHP, their guidance and all the discounts are invaluable. We look back at what the real estate agent credited, the waived closing fees and home inspection discounts and we really see the savings. All the partners worked on our behalf so we could save even more money over the life of our mortgage.”

Coastal Housing Partnership helps Employer Members address the challenge of attracting and retaining employees in an area with high housing costs by providing housing benefits to the employees of member companies. This full-service housing benefit includes home buying education seminars, home buying resources and savings as employees navigate their way through the home buying process, mortgage refinance benefits and rental benefits. “Getting on the path to home ownership requires having the right education, tools, and resources to be a competitive buyer.” says Corby Gage, Executive Director of Coastal Housing Partnership. “We have helped local families realize their dreams of home ownership for over 25 years, helping companies and organizations meet the challenge of attracting and retaining employees in a region with some of the highest housing prices in the nation. Seeing Katherine and Ignacio in their new home is so wonderful. It inspires us to do what we do.”

“We really appreciate our employer (SBCC) offering this home buying benefit. By offering this benefit it shows the commitment they have to their employee’s well-being. Our jobs are already very rewarding and SBCC helping make our dream of home ownership reality is just the icing on the cake. We honestly wouldn’t have known where to start. The fact that CHP was available to us made a big difference.”
 – Katherine Firkins and Ignacio Ponce

Coastal Housing Partnership started in 1987 as a first-time home buying program, providing financial assistance programs. Over the years, the organization has grown to also serve move-up buyers, as well as those getting back into the market. Coastal Housing Partnership helps Member Employers address the challenge of attracting and retaining employees in an area with high housing costs, by providing a full-service housing assistance benefit including:

• Home buying education seminars;
• Home buying resources to employees as they navigate their way through the home buying process;
• Home buying benefits to the employees of member companies;
• Mortgage refinance benefits
• Rental housing assistance benefits
• A network of service professionals to assist employees in their search for area housing, whether leasing or buying.

More than 9,000 employees have attended Coastal Housing home buying seminars in the past fifteen years, and Coastal Housing Partnership has helped more than 10,000 employees become homeowners since its inception. Coastal Housing Partnership Membership is open to Santa Barbara County and Ventura County employers who want to offer their employees a full service housing assistance benefit in a cost-effective way.

A Local Family’s Home Buying Success Story


Home sweet home for Ivan and Cenorina

Two years ago, when Cenorina and Ivan first thought of buying a home, all of their offers were rejected. No one could seem to help them work out a deal. Then they found out about Coastal Housing Partnership and how their employee benefit works.

The couple attended a Coastal Housing Partnership Home Buying Seminar and then connected with a real estate agent from Coastal Housing’s network services partners.

“Education is huge. Without it we wouldn’t have had that extra push… It motivated us!,” the couple shared.

Through their employer’s Coastal Housing Partnership housing benefit, Cenorina and Ivan were able to purchase their home with less than a 20 percent down payment. They saved more than $3,000 in closing costs, and are now paying less each month than they would to rent.

“We would say to anyone who thinks home ownership is impossible: With knowledge and planning, it’s right around the corner, but we could not have done it ourselves,” Ivan and Cenorina shared.