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First-time homebuyer? Bay Federal’s new Homebuyer Program helps locals move into homeownership

Bay Federal Credit Union’s new First Time Homebuyer Program has provided loans for eight new homeowners for a total amount of $4.2 million since it’s launch in March 2021.

Matt and Jenya Beachy had wanted to purchase their dream home for a while now. They just weren’t sure if the price was out of reach.

Their struggle is not unique. The rising housing costs in our community have made many people think owning their own home is out of reach. Real estate research firm ATTOM Data Solutions recently issued its first-quarter 2021 U.S. Home Affordability Report and listed Santa Cruz County as the third most expensive county to buy a home in the entire country. Monterey County home prices have risen 30.2% since last year, and San Benito County homes are up 24.4% in 2021 as well.

Bay Federal Credit Union, Santa Cruz County’s largest member-owned financial institution, introduced a program in March 2021 to help people make a move into homeownership.

“As the cost of housing continues to climb, we wanted to look at our opportunity to help our community,” said Carrie Birkhofer, President and CEO of Bay Federal Credit Union. “We developed our First Time Homebuyer Program based on the Credit Union tradition of ‘people helping people.’ We’re excited to offer this to our community so they can make their dream of owning their own home a reality.”

Matt and Jenya Beachy

For Mr. and Mrs. Beachy, the First Time Homebuyer Program made the difference.

“Our Home Loan Consultant, Yesenia Alvarez, provided this new program that helped make getting our home so much more affordable,” Mr. Beachy said.

Bay Federal Credit Union’s First Time Homebuyer Program offers potential homebuyer options beginning with a 3% down payment and no closing costs. It is available for owner-occupied single-family residences with a maximum loan amount of $822,375 for Santa Cruz County and San Benito County and $739,450 for Monterey County.

The term “First Time Homebuyer” refers to those that have not owned a property in the last three years. This was a program that Mr. and Mrs. Beachy did not think was an option for them at first.

“We hadn’t thought to look into this program since we previously owned a home, but that was four years ago,” Mr. Beachy said. “Yesenia brought specific product knowledge that we wouldn’t have found on our own. She was proactive in seeking out the best option for us.”

Yesenia Alvarez

Bay Federal’s Home Loan Consultants are renowned for their friendly, fast, and local service. The Beachy’s experience with Yesenia truly lived up to that reputation and exceeded their expectations.

“Our experience was fantastic,” Mr. Beachy said. “She was knowledgeable, informative, answered all of our questions, and helped us to manage the home buying process. She has a gift, and is absolutely on top of her game.”

Choosing Bay Federal for their home lending needs was also important to the Beachys because of the investment into the community. “Bay Federal keeps our investment local,” Mr. Beachy said. “We know that the money we invested in our home remains in the local economy. I have already recommended to many friends that they check in with Bay Federal for home and other loan needs.”

Since the program launched, Bay Federal has provided loans for eight new homeowners for a total amount of $4.2 million, with at least three more home loans expected to close by the end of the month.

Bay Federal’s Home Loan Consultants can assist with home purchases or refinances in the state of California. The Credit Union’s Home Loan Consultants will be with them every step of the way.

Apply online today!
  • General
    Potential first-time home buyers who are interested in the program can apply online by visiting or by calling 831.479.6000 or toll-free at 888.4BAYFED, extension 304.

The Credit Union has also recently lowered their home loan rates to do their part to make homeownership even more accessible for both first-time home buyers and refinances. Members who refinance their home loan from another institution and lock in their rate within seven days of applying can also get a free appraisal. Interested homeowners can visit for more information.