An Interview with Arcelia “Chello” Gladden

Home ownership means the fulfillment of a dream for many, but for Arcelia “Chello” Gladden, buying her first home also gave her an injection of self-confidence.

“I’m so pleased with myself, because I did it on my own. I didn’t have a husband. So I really did this on my own and with all the help of Coastal Housing Partnership (CHP) and my work,” she says. At the time she bought her first home in Lompoc, in 2003, Gladden had been working at Raytheon in Goleta for 29 years and renting the same home in Santa Barbara for 15 years.

Her rental unit was sold and the new landlord raised the rent considerably, which made Gladden think that it might be time for her to become a homeowner.

She went to an employer-sponsored CHP seminar and came away convinced that it was time for her to take the plunge. “I listened to them and they just put a bug in my ear. I just thought to myself, I’ve got to do something. I’m going to end up probably homeless. Because we weren’t getting any raises and my rent was going up, up, up. It was not a good thing,” she says.

Gladden looked around, but she was reluctant to move to Lompoc, even though it was more affordable than Santa Barbara. “I hated the idea, but I needed to invest my money.”

CHP sent her to speak with a loan officer at Santa Barbara Bank and Trust, who helped lead the way. Gladden used her pension money to purchase the four-bedroom home for “a little under $300,000.” Shortly after her first seminar with CHP, Gladden, her recently divorced daughter and grandchildren moved in.

Two years later, in 2005, the house’s value had increased by more than $100,000. Now an enthusiastic believer in real estate investments, Gladden refinanced the house using CHP benefits and used that money to buy a second house in Lompoc that she rents to her daughter.

Gladden has nothing but praise for CHP and frequently urges her colleagues to take advantage of their services. “I found them very, very helpful to me. I wouldn’t have done it without them.”

Originally published in the Coastal Housing Partnership Newsletter