The Santa Clarita Veteran Services Collaborative has selected a local veteran to be gifted the full title to a family residence thanks to a contribution made by an anonymous donor.
After reviewing more than 40 applications, the collaborative chose Ernesto Trevizo, along with his wife and two young children, to be gifted a 1,240-square-foot house valued at $500,000 — a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, free of debt.
“We were blown away,” said Trevizo. “It’s a lot to take in. It was like playing the lottery: You play, but you don’t really think you’re going to win.”
Trevizo grew up in the Santa Clarita Valley and served in the Infantry of the 1st Battalion 9th Marines from 2006 to 2010. His wife, Alyssa, works from home for an online marketing company.
“We were actually talking about moving out of state,” said Trevizo. “Our friends and family are here, but the cost of living is so high. We were going to trade comfort for affordability.”
To qualify for the house, Trevizo met the criteria set by the donor and the collaborative’s board of directors. The criteria included: an honorable discharge document; employment or proof of a military-related injury that results in 100% disability; a good credit score; and the ability to qualify for a $110,000 VA loan, which includes escrow fees, taxes and insurance.
“This is an unbelievable opportunity,” Jeffery Stabile, director of business development at the collaborative, said in a previous interview. “A lot of veterans aren’t in the position to be homeowners, and this is a great way for someone to get invested in a house.”
Trevizo and his family were introduced as winners of the home to the collaborative during a luncheon Friday.
Out of the 40 applications, five were chosen to undergo in-person interviews. Because of the emotional and personal stories, choosing a single applicant was difficult, according to the collaborative.
The collaborative will follow up with other finalists to assist with other options, according to a news release.
When asked what he looks forward to the most in his new home, Trevizo said, “having a place to plant roots for my family.”
As a person who has participated in Toys 4 Tots and other charity events, Trevizo said it’s his turn to pay the good deeds forward.
“We got this house because of a generous donor,” he said. “Now it’s our turn to do something good for our community.”