Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hispanic Homeownership on the Rise

January 18, 2008 Source: La Prensa San Diego

The dream of homeownership is becoming a reality for an increasing number of Hispanic homebuyers, who have traditionally faced obstacles such as language barriers and rigid lending rules. Today, almost 28 percent of new homebuyers in California are Hispanic, thanks in part to a rapid advance into the middle class and innovative efforts like Pardee Homes’ personal mortgage consulting program.

“Though Hispanics are among the fastest-growing population in our state, the barriers for Hispanic homeowners have been steeper than for other groups,” explains Jose L. Cer-vantes, a San Diego-based mortgage consultant for Pardee Homes. “For example, the process of qualifying for a home loan can be difficult to navigate. Some prospective Hispanic homeowners did not have long-term credit histories. Our program is designed to help families learn the process step-by-step and overcome many personal homeownership barriers to help build strong communities. Many Pardee Homes consultants also are bilingual.”

Since 2000, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of Hispanic homebuyers, according to DataQuick Information Systems, a San Diego real estate information company that reviews and analyzes public real estate records. Nationwide, the rate of home ownership among the nation’s 42.7 million Hispanics hit a record 50 percent in the last quarter of 2005, reported the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In California, that dramatic trend continues as Hispanics purchase home at record rates, even in a slow home sales market. A DataQuick analysis showed that Hispanic surnames topped the list of most common names of buyers in 2005. In fact, four out of the top five names were Hispanic with Garcia, Hernandez, Rodriguez and Lopez coming in at the top four spots. Only one was in the top five in 2000.

“Homeownership is the first step for many families to achieve the American dream,” says Cervantes. “Lower interest rates and more flexibility in lending rules have helped Hispanics achieve this goal. Not so long ago, some lenders would not consider a spouse’s income when evaluating a home loan. Now, we look at various relatives – wife, brother, uncle, etc., who can help a family qualify by pooling their earnings.”

Cervantes continues, “It all goes back to the basics. To qualify for a home loan, there are three necessary requirements: good credit history, reserves and assets and employment that makes sense for what you’re buying. That’s where we come in – educating the buyers and walking them through every step in the process.”

Cervantes adds that he works with many Mexican nationals buying second homes in the United States, and says that they often struggle to establish the first requirement, good credit history. That is due in part because they have not worked with American banks. However, more education is changing that picture, he says. “More and more, Mexican citizens realize how important it is to build a good credit history and are willing to build that so they can get the best loans available.”

Reflecting the trend in Hispanic home ownership, Cervantes says he sees many families who are U.S. citizens, but want to live close to the border, so they can be closer to family and cultural ties to Mexico. One of Pardee Homes’ newest communities, Esmeralda, seeks to serve that need. The architecturally-inspiring community is a highly desirable location overlooking the Pacific Ocean and just a short drive from downtown San Diego or Baja.

Additionally, California’s Hispanic population is expected to grow by at least 7.2 million between 2000 and 2020, accounting for more than two-thirds of the expected growth in the state, according to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. By 2040, Hispanics will become the majority population group in California, a trend that will be reflected in market demand for homes in the state.

Cervantes plans to be ready. “Real estate is a cyclical industry, but Hispanic home ownership will have an enormous economic effect in the next few decades,” he says. “I want to put people in place for the next cycle. By getting them in a solid financial situation now, they will be ready when the next cycle starts,” he concludes.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Casa Latino Real Estate Begins International Expansion

SOUTHBURY, CONNECTICUT January 17, 2008 Real Estate News
(PRLEAP.COM) January 17, 2008, Southbury, CT - Casa Latino Franchise Corporation, franchisors of Casa Latino Real Estate offices throughout the US, has announced its plan to award Master and Area Development Franchises in twelve countries as the company embarks upon an aggressive international expansion.

Casa Latino is America’s leading national Latino real estate franchise brand with offices in several US states. In addition to its international expansion, the company expects to continue awarding single unit, multi unit, and area development franchises throughout key US markets during 2008.

Master Franchise and Area Developer candidates are currently being sought for the following countries: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Puerto Rico. Franchisees in additional countries will be sought beginning in 2009.

Casa Latino’s business model differs from traditional real estate franchise operations as it does not charge percentage based royalties, but rather charges low transaction based fees. In addition, broker and agent support services are tailored to the specific needs of the Hispanic market.

Casa Latino was created in 2005 based upon the premise that Hispanic home buyers and sellers have unique needs based upon cultural differences and lifestyles, bolstered by the fact that those needs are not being effectively served by any other national brand. The company offers franchisees unprecedented culturally specific and significant back office support, training, marketing tools, coaching, and much more to ensure their success. The franchise model encourages a variety of agent compensation programs which dramatically enhance a broker’s ability to recruit agents. The low franchise fee and an exceptionally low transaction based royalty structure make Casa Latino an extremely attractive opportunity.

Press Contact:
Robb Heering, Esq.
(203) 262-4185

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

South Leads U.S. in Fastest Hispanic Growth

The geographic dispersion of the U.S. Hispanic population continues. States with small Hispanic populations have shown the greatest growth in the last decade - with seven of the 10 fastest-growing states in the South.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Are Americans Forgetting The Reasons Why They Have Become Homeowners?

Yesterday I was listening to NPR radio when one of their guests was making a comment about one of the “emerging” reasons why Americans are losing their homes to foreclosures that strike my mind. The guest (I could remember his name) was talking about the mortgage crisis and foreclosures when suddenly he said something that even for me is hard to admit.

He said that many homeowners are now losing their home not because of the traditional causes like, unemployment, unexpected death in the family or illness not event to the infamous ARMs, no. They are voluntarily giving their homes back to the investors simply because they feel it make no senses to keep paying for a home that had lost must of its value and equity compared to the time when they purchased that very same home. That under the current circumstances they felt they were better of just go renting for a while.

God, are we forgetting why we buy a home in the first place? That a house is just a long time investment that happens to be our shelter, and as all investments, they can go up and down on value depending on the real estate market, that it is a mistake if we want to handle our homes as it were the same as a “wall street” investment.

We all know the phrase“ The home is the single biggest investment a person can probably do” a single biggest INVESTMENT. Let’s not forget that! If we continue, misleading our communities by telling them that homeownership is a “right” that all man must buy a home and not accepting the fact that homeownership is not for everyone, that there are people perfectly happy livings in a rental community, the real estate market as we know it will be doom.

Can you share what are the main rezones you are telling your clients why they should buy a home?

Thursday, January 10, 2008


For Immediate Release Contact: Lizette Jenness Olmos
January 10, 2008
202-833-6130 ext. 16
GolinHarris, Glen Orr


Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens National Housing Commission (LNHC) today announced that it has received $25,000 from Countrywide Bank, FSB, the third largest federal savings bank in the U.S. and a member of the Countrywide (NYSE:CFC) family of companies. Countrywide Bank’s financial support will allow the National Housing Commission to continue to promote educational programs on home buying, foreclosure prevention, financial literacy, credit and other areas for Latinos, especially for young people and the elderly.

“LULAC believes that homeownership is the key to the long-term economic progress and wealth accumulation of the Latino community, and that safe and stable neighborhoods are essential to individual achievement and community vitality,” said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. “We are grateful for Countrywide Bank’s generous contribution, and we applaud their long-standing commitment to help consumers achieve and maintain homeownership.”

“A solid foundation of financial education is the first step towards building your financial future,” said Mary Salinas Durón, executive vice president for Countrywide Bank. “LULAC and the National Housing Commission are long-time partners of Countrywide, and we are proud to support their important efforts as we try to make the home-buying process a smooth one for the Latino community.”

The League of the United Latin American Citizen ( advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.

About Countrywide Bank
Countrywide Bank, FSB, is a member of the Countrywide Financial Corporation (NYSE: CFC) family of companies. Countrywide Bank offers consumers highly competitive rates on certificates of deposit and money market accounts and, through its family of companies, also offers investment* and insurance products. Customers can review banking products and services, check rates on deposits, and apply for new accounts by phone, online, or at one of more than 180 financial centers located throughout the country. In addition, the company offers the same superior rates and unsurpassed personalized service to its business customers through its Premier Business Banking and Commercial Banking Divisions. For more information about Countrywide Bank, visit Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

*Countrywide Investment Services and Countrywide Insurance Services Products
Not FDIC Insured Not Guaranteed By Any Bank Not A Deposit
May Lose Value Not Insured By Any Federal Government Agency


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

NAHREP and Freddie Mac Sponsored Homebuyer Seminar

Get the facts about the local real estate market from national and local housing leaders. Learn why the current

market has created the best opportunity in years to buy a home!

Featuring U.S. Representative Michael McCaul

Hear About Mortgage Products Best Suited for You

Learn About the Home-Buying Process

Find Out How to Avoid Foreclosure

Friday January 11, 2008

11:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Oswaldo A. B. Cantu Pan American Recreation Center

2100 East Third Street, Austin, Texas



Hosted by

The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals

Freddie Mac


More Community Resources @

Thursday, January 03, 2008


a new year... a new start!


At the beginning of every New Year I find myself feeling very enthusiastic about all the possibilities the year may bring. The New Year is a gift from God. It is a new start at anything that we set our minds, hearts and faith to accomplish. Furthermore, it gives us the opportunity to continue working on any mission or goal that we have already set for ourselves.

No matter what your mission or goals in life might be, I encourage you to do it well! In Romans 12:7-8 it is written: "If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching. If your gift is to encourage others, do it! If you have money, share it generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly".

At Esperanza our mission is clear. It is driven by the biblical mandate stated in Mathew 25:40 – to strengthen the Hispanic community while serving and advocating for "the least of these", the marginalized and the underserved.

Through our varied programs and initiatives we are making a difference in the Hispanic community nationwide. We are working on strengthening Hispanic marriages in the cities of Santa Ana, CA; New York, NY and Philadelphia, PA. We continue to support Hispanic faith-based service organizations in Florida and Pennsylvania, and respond to the needs of troubled Hispanic youth in Philadelphia. And now we will work with teens in California through our new abstinence training program.

The New Year is just starting and it is filled with much promise, possibilities and endless opportunities to serve and help our Hispanic community. I hope that each one of you feels as enthusiastic about this new start as I do. Do your best to identify what your community’s needs are and commit to becoming actively involved in meeting them.

Wishing you all God's blessing and a Happy New Year,

The Rev. Luis Cortés, Jr.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Outlook 2008: Ethnic Marketing

Outlook 2008: Ethnic Marketing
December 31, 2007

The successful marriage of content and digital technology is expected to play a major role in reaching niche groups in 2008. For marketers, that means knowing the cultural nuances, identifying specific consumer preferences and understanding the significance that the Internet and mobile devices play in the lifestyles of the diverse audiences they are trying to reach.

“Technology is allowing marketers to reach a finer and finer segmentation of consumers,” said Howard Buford, president and CEO at multicultural agency Prime Access, New York. “In multicultural marketing there’s more demand for culturally specific messaging and more demand for authenticity in speaking to these audiences.”

The buying power of the U.S. Hispanic, African American and Asian populations is projected to climb to $3 trillion by 2011, per the Selig Center for Economic Growth, Athens, Ga.

From a strategic perspective, this massive financial strength is a major reason why integrating multicultural marketing, and specifically Hispanic marketing, into their plans is becoming more common among U.S. corporations. “U.S. businesses across all industries have begun to focus on the rapidly growing Hispanic/Latino market through targeted advertising spending and customized products,” David Kostin, managing director of Goldman Sachs’ U.S. portfolio strategy, noted in a recent presentation at the Multicultural Marketing Summit, Miami. “We believe this trend will continue . . . Firms taking the lead in these initiatives . . . are likely to see their revenues grow faster than those of their competitors over the long term.”

In 2008, marketers will need to deliver culturally relevant messaging via the Internet and all types of digital channels, said data analyst Tamara Barber of Forrester Research, Cambridge, Mass. “Online video is an increasingly interesting and attractive [marketing] vehicle for advertisers if the content is there,” Barber added. “Consumers want to be able to get their information when they want it, where they want it. And online channels are becoming a place where they want it and it’s available.”

“What we’ve seen in social networking speaks to how critical and essential the Internet is [among Hispanic consumers],” said Mark López, COO at Terra Networks, which operates Spanish-language Web portal “The whole industry has been evolving from a Spanish-only kind of segmentation to relevant content that’s mixed with a community aspect, where we can look at a segment of users and know what content they are consuming,” López said. “Then we can work with advertisers and really create relevant messages for those users.”

--Della de Lafuente

BIENVENIDOS AL ÁREA DE ORANDO, AQUÍ SIEMPRE ESTARÁS DIVIRTIÉNDOTE. El centro de la Florida compuesto por cuatros condados, Lake,...