Buying a home is typically the largest investment a person will make. For Hispanics, buying a home represents not only a place to raise a family, but a fulfillment of the American Dream. According to the latest report from NAHREP (The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals), “Today, nearly 4 million Latinos – native and foreign-born – would like to buy a home.” In the report NAHREP also mentioned that many consumers continue to overestimate what they need to qualify for a home loan. Here are some of the figures highlighted in the report:
- 45% of consumers think that a “good credit score” is over 780.
- 36% of consumers think that a 20% down payment is always required.
- 70% of consumers said that they are unfamiliar with down payment assistance programs for fist-time homebuyers.
Last month we covered two of these points:
The average conventional loan closed in March had a credit score of 753, while FHA mortgages closed with a score of 685. The average across all loans closed in March was 722. As we can see, you don’t need a credit score of 780 or higher to buy a house.
A 20% down payment is not necessary to buy a home right now! As NAHREP’s report also mentioned, “of the roughly 6.5 million Hispanic homeowners that owned their home as of 2012, more than 2.5 million (39%) purchased their home with a down payment of less than 5%, compared to 29% for all U.S. households”.
Let’s cover the last point:
3. Down Payment Assistance Programs
There are many available down payment assistance programs, including:
On downpayment.org, you can find federal, state and local housing finance agencies that may be able to help you with some money for your down payment.
If you are a Veteran, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides an overview of the VA home loan program and how to apply for the benefits under this program.
On USA.gov, all sorts of information is available, including information about affordable housing, moving, and even improving your home.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has dedicated a page where you can get information on each step of the process.
Know Your Options by Fannie Mae is available in English and Spanish. Their information helps you understand the buying process as well as how to be a responsible homeowner.
My Home by Freddie Mac: a website designed with tutorials, videos, quizzes and worksheets to provide additional information on overcoming the most common obstacles experienced when buying or selling a home.
If you are a Hispanic who would like to get some help with your down payment, visit these websites or call a local real estate professional who can help you to understand what programs are available in your market place.