Staff Spotlight: An Interview with Sarah Ellinor

July 13, 2018

Categories: First Time Buyer, Homeownership, Spotlight

This week we are spotlighting TSAHC's Manager of Homeownership Programs, Sarah Ellinor. 

Sarah joined the staff of TSAHC in December 2012 as the Homeownership Programs Coordinator. Over the years, her role at TSAHC has included managing TSAHC’s training programs for housing nonprofits, as well as educating lenders, REALTORS® and home buyers about TSAHC’s home buyer programs.

Below is our interview with Sarah to help you get to know her better.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in rural Iowa, living in the same house my whole childhood and graduating from high school with the same friends I went to kindergarten with - all 50 of them. I went to Central College in Pella, Iowa where I majored in Spanish and studied abroad for a full year. I spent six months in Mexico and six months in Spain, where I met my future husband. We married in 2010 and moved to Austin in 2011.

I started my career in affordable housing in 2007 as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. I remain in this field today because of my passion for helping people attain decent, affordable housing.

How did you get your start here at TSAHC?

When my husband and I moved to Austin in 2011, I didn’t have a job right away so I volunteered with Austin Habitat for Humanity. I just happened to volunteer the same day TSAHC was having a “team building” day, working on the same Habitat home. I kept in touch with the staff I met that day, and a year later I was offered a job on the homeownership team!

What do you like most about working here?

The work we do is important. Where else would I have the opportunity to give grants to people wanting to buy their first home? Moreover, the staff at TSAHC are top notch. They inspire me to be better and work harder. Most importantly, TSAHC feels like one big family.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love spending quality time with my 2 year old son, Hudson and my husband, Ben. Outside of parenthood, we are very lucky to have a large network of wonderful friends in the Austin area that we enjoy spending time with as much as we can. Our karaoke skills are quite impressive!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you most like to go? 

I really want to visit all of the National Parks before traveling abroad again. We have so much beauty right here in the United States. Once my children are older, I foresee many family hiking/camping trips in our future!

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

Being the first in my family to graduate from college and learning another language are what I would consider my greatest accomplishments. I hope they will inspire my children when they get older.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

My grandfather was a very wise man and his advice knew no bounds. My favorite quote of his was, “It’s a darn poor wind that doesn’t blow some good.” In other words, even when bad things happen, there’s always a silver lining. Always.

Tell us a random fact about yourself that most people don’t know.

I grew up going drag racing with my family and was on our “pit crew”. I know more about race cars than many may think.

On the House blog posts are meant to provide general information on various housing-related issues, research and programs. We are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided by blog sources. Furthermore, this blog is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.


Jordan O'Brien

Awesome interview! Keep it up Sarah! You are a huge asset to TSAHC and it’s a pleasure working with you.

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