It’s been about a month since Darcy Rael and Israel Juarez got the keys to their new home, and they still can’t quite believe they aren’t going to have to move anytime soon.
Before purchasing their townhome, moving around was the norm for the family. Since four-year-old Naomi was born, they have moved at least once a year, usually because their rent was going to go up if they stayed.
They lived in Indiana, where Darcy and Israel met, and they lived in Sammamish. They moved when they had to, hoping that someday they would find stability for their family.
“We were so tired of moving,” Darcy said, “and it started getting really hard on our daughter once she was in preschool.”
The family dreamed of staying put in an affordable home that they loved. Darcy and Israel dreamed of their kids getting to know a neighborhood and calling it their own, making friends and being able to keep them. When they lived in Sammamish, they dreamed of getting back to the Seattle area — where Darcy grew up and went to college — and finding a more diverse community in which to raise their children.
They knew that homeownership was the way to get the stability their family needed, but it seemed out of reach. Even though they were initially denied a home loan, Darcy and Israel didn’t give up. They found a great real estate agent and they kept exploring their options. They eventually found Homestead, where they met with Homeownership Program Director Lindsey Sargent, and learned about the Valtera Townhomes in West Seattle.
Now they are homeowners, in a Seattle neighborhood that they love.
Israel has a short commute to his job as manager of the Southcenter Goodwill. And Darcy, a teacher, is excited to have enrolled Naomi in a nearby bilingual preschool that prides itself on its multi-cultural curriculum and affordability for working families.
Reflecting on what it means to be homeowners, Darcy and Israel thanked Homestead for helping the family purchase their first home, saying, “The stability you have given our children is priceless.”
By making a commitment to stewarding the permanent affordability of their new home, Darcy, Israel, Naomi and Rafael are giving their community a priceless gift as well!