Renting, now owning, in the city they love

Buying a home had been just a dream for Eladio and Adelaida Arroyo, who moved to Santa Ana from Mexico in 1985.

"Since I came to this country, I was dreaming I would buy a house," said Adelaida, 32. "But we never had the money."

Then the right deal came along in June. Now they're settled in their own three-bedroom, two-bath house in northwest Santa Ana, paying the same amount for a mortgage that they were paying on rent. Their payments for the $135,000 home are $1,200 a month.

The Arroyos said they feel lucky to stay in the area, where they can walk to the market and their eldest child can take the bus to school. They feel part of their community and right at home. "I like this place," Adelaida said. "It's a good place to live."

Adelaida takes care of the couple's three children full time. Eladio, 37, delivers flowers.

"I think we feel thankful, but at the same time we have a responsibility--to continue to pay," Adelaida said.

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