Bianca Muñoz received the shock of a lifetime on what is normally a typical day at work.

Muñoz quickly found herself surrounded by a group of Guadalupe Valley Habitat for Humanity representatives on Monday, who gathered at Guadalupe Regional Medical Center to congratulate her on being selected as their latest partner family.

Muñoz was met with the smiling faces of her co-workers and balloon toting Habitat for Humanity members leaving the woman awestruck.

“I can’t believe this has happened to me,” she said. “I’m shaking. I’m so excited. I didn’t even know this was going to happen today. I am shocked.”

The new home is the place her 8-year-old daughter, Zerenity Garcia, will grow up, Muñoz said.

“I plan to hopefully be able to have a place where my daughter can play outside and enjoy the time that I will be able to have in this home,” she said.

Muñoz, who works as a PBX operator at GRMC, said she learned of the program about a year ago and was convinced by a friend to apply.

“I didn’t think I was going to get it, but I did,” she said. “I applied this year, and I can’t believe it. I hadn’t heard a lot about the program, but I finally sent them a letter and just so happened to get picked the first time. I had no idea what would happen.”

Muñoz was chosen after beating out about 10 other applicants, GVHFH Family Selection Committee chair Kendra Pacheco said.

“Out of the 10 to 12 applicants, it all boiled down to around five, and then those people didn’t make the cut as well,” Pacheco said. “We go through certain things that the applicants have to be in regards to the policy, so we don’t just pick one and say ‘You’re the winner,’ you have to go through a whole process just like how you would get a mortgage and those types of things. We analyze their credit and other things; we look at their credit reports to see where they’re at. So she (Muñoz) ended up being the one that met all those criteria.”

Qualifying for a home after one application doesn’t happen often, but isn’t unheard of, Pacheco said.

“It really depends on where the applicant stands,” she said. “If I could give any advice to anyone out there, it would be not acquiring a lot of debts in regards to their income, because that plays into effect of their debt to income ratio and making sure that they’re in alignment with the policy. Job stability is another one, ensuring that they can pay for the house and able to do the sweat equity hours and so forth.”

Construction of Muñoz’ property is slated to start early next year, making her the recipient of the 29th home built by the organization.

“She will be the first house that we start in 2020,” Pacheco said. “So right now, we are doing our 28th house, and that one is about to be completed either at the end of the year or the first part, and that's when we will start her house. If weather permits, the construction should take around six months.”

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