IS A HOME IN YOUR FUTURE?
Learn about CHW’s one-stop homebuying shop at our Happy Homebuyer Hour at Wine Steals! Appetizers and first drink on us. Please RSVP below.
Happy Homebuyer Hour
View the flyer or share it with friends!
Learn about CHW’s one-stop homebuying shop at our Happy Homebuyer Hour at Wine Steals! Appetizers and first drink on us. Please RSVP below.
View the flyer or share it with friends!
Saturday April 11, 2015 – Saturday April 11, 2015
4010 Fairmount Ave
CHW’s HUD-approved class will provide prospective homebuyers with the information, resources and tools needed to purchase your first home. All graduates will receive a certificate which may grant access to services and products specifically for First-time HomeBuyers and down payment assistance loans from CHW and various municipalities in San Diego County. In addition, CHW offers pre-purchase coaching – an opportunity to work individually with CHW staff to ensure that you purchase the right home for you and your family.
1. Meet with a housing counselor or take a class.
Identify a non-profit organization that provides housing counselors who can give you unbiased and objective advice regarding the homebuying process in your area. CHW provides homebuyer coaching to help you figure out how much you can afford and your next steps. In addition, taking a CHW homebuyer class will help you learn the A-Z’s of homebuying and be prepared for all the steps in the process.
2. Straighten out your finances.
Know your credit before talking to a lender and searching for homes. You are allowed one free credit report per year from each of the three main credit report companies. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com for this free report. If you see any inaccuracies, fix them. Overall, it is a good idea to understand what a lender is looking for when they qualify you for a mortgage. Keep the 4 C’s of credit in mind:
3. Learn more about down-payment and closing-cost programs.
Some non-profit organizations (CHW included!) as well as some state and city governments offer help with down-payment and closing costs – often a major hurdle for first-time homebuyers. Usually this assistance comes in the form of a grant or a low-interest or forgivable loan. Borrowers must meet certain income qualifications to receive these loans. Use this tool to see what kinds of programs you may qualify for.
4. Get pre-approved then shop for a home.
Going about it in the reverse order may leave you feeling frustrated and disappointed. Start looking for homes only after you know how much money you will have to be able to purchase a home. A pre-approval letter from a lender gives you your maximum purchase price, which may limit the area, size and type of home you are able to purchase.
5. Find the right home.
Do your research to find the right neighborhood and home for your lifestyle. Consider schools, your commute, crime, property taxes and other factors that are important to you. Try Neighborhood Scout’s search tool to search by address or city to see neighborhood characteristics such as median area real estate prices, school rating information, crime rates, and more. If schools are important to you, another great tool comes from Homefair.com, where you can access school reports from public and private schools in your area of interest.
Do you have a goal you’ve been trying to achieve for a long time, but you just haven’t been able to make it happen? One of the greatest challenges to meeting our goals is finding the motivation to stick with it. Motivation is what makes you want to do something—that driving force that keeps you going toward your goal.
Read these 5 tips to help you find your motivation to reach the goal that you’ve set.
1. Get started.
It seems obvious, but many times the most difficult part about reaching your goal is just getting started. Maybe you’ve been thinking about saving up for a house or going back to school. Just remember that it doesn’t matter if your first step is perfect. As long as you get started, you’ll eventually see the benefits and will be more motivated to continue.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain
2. Visualize achieving your goal
Picture what your life will look like once you’ve reached your goal. What will change? For example, if you want to buy a home, picture yourself and/or family getting the keys and moving in. It can be helpful to create a visual reminder of your goal to help you stay on track, whether it’s posting your goals on the refrigerator or making a vision board, think about how you can keep the goal on your mind.
“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” – Ralph Marston
3. Stay positive
Think about a goal you’ve accomplished in the past. Perhaps you saved up to buy something you really wanted or studied hard to pass a test. Whether big or small, you reached this goal. If you’ve done it before, you can do it again! Think about the benefits you will find when you reach your goal rather than concentrating on the challenges it will take to get there. Remember that the positive changes you are making today will set you up for a successful future.
“Success doesn’t happen overnight. Keep you eye on the prize and don’t look back.” – Erin Andrews
4. Commit publicly.
Tell your friends, family and/or coworkers about the goal you’re trying to reach and hold yourself accountable. Make sure you have this support system around you to provide extra encouragement as you work towards your goal.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
5. Treat yourself!
Sometimes rewards can provide great motivation. Start by breaking down your goal into achievable tasks and think about a reward for crossing tasks off your list. It could be as simple as the excitement of telling a friend about your accomplishment to treating yourself to something you enjoy. See what works for you!
“Step by step and the thing is done.” – Charles Atlas
For more ideas and help achieving your financial goals, consider taking our Financial Fitness class. Learn more
“Home is my favorite place…It’s a place to build your roots and come together as a family.” - Victoria Valenzuela, First-time Homebuyer
A single mom with three small children, Victoria Valenzuela was faced with a critical housing situation. She was staying at her brother’s apartment with only one bed for her family of four to share. Victoria was highly motivated to find a new home and set out to do something about it.
In Spring 2013, Ms. Valenzuela was introduced to Community HousingWorks’ (CHW’s) asset-building programs. She began by attending a Financial Fitness class where she learned how to save money and where to go for financial help. During the class, Victoria explored her goals and created an action plan for achieving her dream of buying a home.
Victoria explains, “I always had a hope, and it was really more like a dream, of owning a home. But I am a person that is persistent, that works and fights for what I want. I said to myself, I am going to try. I ended up working with CHW to know what I needed to do to purchase my home and to keep fighting.”
After taking the Financial Fitness class, Ms. Valenzuela realized that her homeownership goal was attainable. During the class, she created an action plan that would help her reach her goal and received the tools she could use to get her there. Shortly after the class, Victoria spoke with a CHW financial coach about her next steps. Her coach recommended CHW’s Homebuyer Class, where Victoria learned the steps she needed to take to purchase a home. She found out that she would need to save $15,000 to afford her first home.
With the motivation that she could achieve her homeownership dream, Victoria began saving as much as she could to reach her goal. As a maintenance manager for a housing organization, Victoria maximized her income by cutting out any extra expenses and managing her money wisely using some ideas she learned in the Financial Fitness class. She also saved her large tax return and was able to save on rent costs each month. Just nine months later and with $15,000 in the bank for a down payment, Victoria met with a housing coach for a pre-purchase session. Discovering some minor errors on her credit report, Victoria worked with her coach to write letters to the bureaus and creditors to have them resolved. One month later, the errors were corrected and she was ready to get pre-approved for a home loan!
In Spring 2014, Ms. Valenzuela worked with the CHW Lending and Realty teams to obtain an affordable mortgage and find the right home for her family. She and her family moved into a beautiful, single-family home located near a family-friendly park in Logan Heights. Victoria says, “When I received the keys to my house I felt a lot of emotion in my heart. It was a kind of joy that almost made me cry. It seemed like a dream come true. I said, thank you God, finally you have helped us purchase our own home.”
Have you been thinking about buying a home but you just can’t seem to save up the 20% down payment that many conventional loans require? You’re not alone! Many first-time buyers do not have large amounts of cash to spend on a down payment even though they have a stable job with good income.
Now, first-time buyers anxious for homeownership have a new option. Fannie Mae has recently announced a new loan product that only requires 3% down. For a home costing $350,000, that is still a $10,500 down payment, but this amount is far more manageable than the $70,000 down payment that would be needed if 20% down were required on that same home! According to the Federal Reserve, 45% of renters delayed buying a home because they could not afford the down payment. A lower down payment requirement would allow for more buyers to purchase their first home.
These loans, like most others, require buyers to be eligible based on verified income, debt and credit scores, among other factors. Additionally, at least one of the co-borrowers must be a first-time homebuyer. The loan product will also require private mortgage insurance, which is paid monthly with the mortgage until the buyers have paid down 20% of their loan.
Fannie Mae sees this new loan product as “a responsible option for qualified borrowers.” It allows creditworthy borrowers to access credit and receive a loan while interest rates are still at historically low levels (the U.S average mortgage rate on a 30-year fixed loan is just under 4% at the moment). Though Fannie Mae doesn’t think this will fix all the problems surrounding access to credit that currently exist, it is one step in the right direction!
2015 is looking like a great year to buy a home for other reasons as well. After home prices grew at a fairly rapid pace in both 2012 and 2013, prices have been a bit steadier, rising at a much slower pace in 2014 and this trend is expected to continue into 2015. In addition to steadier home prices, renting is getting more expensive and the vacancy rate is at an all-time low in many areas of the country. As rents increase, the cost of homeownership begins to be less expensive than renting and a better investment of your money.
This New Year’s Eve, the Tatum family made goals together, motivated to start the new year on the right foot. Instead of making the usual New Year’s resolutions, they made tangible goals together as a family to work towards becoming debt-free and purchasing a home in 2017.
After difficulty making rent payments last year, Alonzo and Tomika connected to the Virtual Counselor Network to get their finances back on track. With a family of six, the VCN made it easier for Alonzo and Tomika to connect with a financial coach, from right at home using online video chat technology.
With the support of a CHW financial coach, the Tatums began changing the way they were saving and spending their money. Alonzo says, “What’s changed the most is really our mindset, being conscious of our budget and accountable to our coach.” Alonzo and Tomika were able to pay their past due in the same month and promptly joined the Financial Health Club afterwards.
The Tatums meet with their coach, Jesse, on a consistent monthly basis to check in on progress towards their goals. Tomika says, “It has motivated us and prepared us to be accountable every month.” At their last session, the family checked in on accomplishments and challenges for the month and discussed ways to reduce spending. They made a plan to create a Vision Board with their family to ensure they are all committed to their savings goals.
Since working with a coach, Alonzo and Tomika have made significant strides toward their goals. They are now keeping a monthly budget and working together to find ways to reduce their spending. They’ve started repairing their credit using some letters their coach recommended to send to fix errors on their report.
Coaching has also impacted their family in positive ways. The Tatums have recognized a difference in their family’s attitudes towards money.
“We believe this is going to change our family’s legacy. We’ve involved our kids so that they can avoid the same pitfalls in their lives. Now they have vengeance against debt!” says Alonzo.
“I am really impressed with their motivation and truly believe that they will reach their stated goal, which is to become debt-free and purchase a home by 2017,” explains Jesse, financial coach.
The Tatum family plans to continue working with their financial coach throughout 2015, meeting on a monthly basis and regularly checking in on their progress. In order to reach their goals of becoming debt-free and purchasing a home, they have committed to repairing their credit and increasing their savings. In two months, they will have paid off their payday loan debt, allowing for a surplus in their budget and a chance to increase their savings. Before their next coaching session, they’ve committed to writing and sending letters to creditors in order to improve their credit. They have also signed up for the Financial Fitness class and plan to attend a Homebuyer Class later this year. In addition, in order to increase their monthly savings, they have planned to enroll in SDGE’s Level Pay program.
By strengthening their monthly budget, increasing their savings and improving their credit, the Tatum family will be in the best position possible when they go to apply for a home loan in the near future.
It’s easy to spend more than you plan to during the holidays. Keep your eyes on the prize. If your goal is a higher credit score, spending more than 30% of your credit limit could cause your credit score to drop. If your goal is saving money, using credit for purchases could mean finance charges in the long run. Stick to these 5 tips to avoid getting into holiday debt so that you can reach your financial goals.
If you are forced to use your credit card for expenses, make a commitment to paying off that debt in the first few months of 2015, so that you can stay on track towards your goals. Remember that the best gift is often not wrapped with a bow, but is time spent with family and friends.
Housing Market News
Sergio Quero, Senior Housing and Financial Coach
In 2004, the housing market was a complete success. The process of buying a house was focused on the ability to purchase and not the financial capacity of the buyer. Buyers first sought the home of their dreams and then worried about financing. Many achieved the American dream of buying their first home, but without a down payment, with a low credit score and without proof of income. Ten years ago, the buyer also had to face disadvantages when buying a house such as high prices, the use of subprime loan programs and the pressure to buy on the spot without a defined budget. As a buyer in 2004, this cycle was interrupted by the balance of the real estate market and gave us one of our worst economic times.
Today, the buyer has the knowledge of what happened in the last 10 years. This has taught him or her things that cannot be avoided: Know the terms of financing, follow a monthly budget and be financially qualified before buying a house.
In 2014, the (home buying) process is characterized by the financial capacity of the buyer, which results in a buyer with a defined and successful plan. Through CHW, the buyer is able to purchase a home using the necessary tools to be a capable and informed buyer. Through financial classes and coaching, CHW enables today’s buyer to determine if the goal of buying a home is possible and realistic and has financial coaches working directly with buyers to achieve the same goal.
Noticias del mercado de Bienes Raíces
Consejero principal de vivienda y finanzas
En el año 2004, el mercado de bienes raíces era todo un éxito. El proceso para comprar una casa se enfocaba en la rapidez de poder adquirir y no en la capacidad financiera del comprador. Los compradores buscaban primero la casa de sus sueños y después se preocupaban por obtener financiamiento. Muchos lograron el sueño Americano al comprar su primera casa sin dar enganche, con un nivel de crédito bajo y sin comprobar ingresos. El comprador de hace 10 años tenía que enfrentarse a desventajas al comprar una casa como: precios altos, la utilización de programas de financiamiento no adecuados y la presión de comprar en el momento sin un presupuesto definido. El ciclo como comprador del 2004 fue interrumpido por el balance del Mercado de bienes raíces y nos brindó uno de nuestros peores momentos económicos.
Hoy en día, el comprador tiene el conocimiento de lo sucedido en los últimos 10 años. Esto le ha enseñado las cosas que no se pueden evitar: Conocer los términos del financiamiento, seguir un plan mensual de presupuesto y ser capacitado financieramente antes de comprar una casa.
El ciclo del comprador en el 2014 es caracterizado por la capacidad financiera del comprador, lo cual tiene como resultado un comprador con un plan definido y exitoso. Por medio de CHW, una organización sin fines de lucro, el comprador logra adquirir su casa utilizando las herramientas necesarias para ser un comprador capaz e informado. CHW capacita al comprador de hoy, por medio de clases financieras que ayudan a determinar si la meta de comprar una casa es posible y realista y cuenta con guías financieros que trabajan directamente con los compradores para lograr esa misma meta.