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Customer Stories

Lor's Story: A Loving Legacy

Henry Demasco | 14 Jun 2021

Like many of the essential professionals we partner with, Lor Umali was stuck in the place of making too much to qualify for help but not enough to buy in the pricey seller’s market in San Jose, California.

“The obstacle was mainly affordability,” said Lor, a math teacher at Piedmont Middle School in San Jose. “I didn’t know how I could get to a 20% downpayment, which is table stakes in the San Jose market.”

Lor heard about Landed in 2016, and she and her husband, Domingo, had considered talking part in our down payment program then. They ultimately decided to wait, and when Domingo passed away in 2018, Lor wasn’t sure buying a home would be an option.

“Homeownership was a lifelong dream of ours,” Lor said. “And it was Domingo’s last wish for me and our children –– that we would find a place to call home.”


Lor and her loved ones inside their new home in San Jose, CA.

In 2020, Lor reconnected with Landed and learned that with our down payment program, homeownership was still possible.

And she could find a great place close to work, with the perfect amount of space for her and her youngest daughter.

She ended up buying a two-bed, two-bath condo with an updated, fresh look, a covered outdoor space, a garage, and great onsite amenities.

“I loved that it was well-maintained,” Lor said. “I didn’t have to worry about updating anything.”


Some of the home's lovely indoor and outdoor living spaces.

She’s glad she took the time to learn more about Landed, because she learned her initial worries were non-issues. For example, she had felt like so many who work in essential but traditionally low-paying fields:

“I felt stuck in the middle,” she said. “Earning too much money for income assistance or below-market rate housing, but earning too little to feel able to buy a place on my own.”

She’s grateful for Landed’s help throughout the process.

“Everyone at Landed was very upfront about what is offered, and very helpful at each stage of the process,” she said. “Landed felt like a true partner, taking on a lot of the stress of homebuying, including things like inspections, and talking through the fine print. That made the process feel easier, and made me more comfortable and confident that I was doing the right thing. The whole process was smooth sailing.”

Now, she’s glad to be a homeowner for many reasons, but admits there’s one main one:

“Domingo was so excited to hear about Landed,” she said. “He was the one really pushing for us to find a home when he was alive. Landed made his last wish possible.”

Customer Stories Northern California

About the Author

Henry Demasco

Henry leads brand marketing at Landed, bringing experience from various marketing roles at two other venture-backed real estate brokerages (Compass and Side). He began his career in the creative agency world, and is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh and Oxford University.

Looking for Landed's down payment program? Due to a temporary unavailability of DPP investment funds, all Landed metro areas are being put on a DPP waitlist effective September 8, 2022. You can read all the details (including FAQs) here if you would like to know more.