Thursday, April 30, 2009

U.S. Latino Online Audience Is Growing Fast, How This Can Benefit Your Real Estate Business

By Bill Arce

On a recent study published by conScore, shows that online Latino audience grew 50% faster than the overall Latino population on 2008. In February, the Latino online audience surfing the Internet hit 20.3 million, up 6 percent from a year ago. Hispanos, now accounts for 11% of the total U.S. online market creating many opportunities for bilingual real estate professionals to expand theirs business on a new whole way.

If you still believe on the myth that Latinos are not online or that Latino don’t own computers, here are some facts that will help you better understand this segment of the online real estate market.

Latinos outpaced the general Internet population grows in total minutes spent while surfing the net, total pages view and total unique visits.

Latinos are embracing the Internet very quickly, with 78% users going online 3-5 times per week
According to the first annual U.S. Hispanic Cyberstudy, Latinos spend 43% more time online at work (13.5 hours) and 13% more time online at home (9.5 hours) than the overall online population
Real estate agencies looking to expand their market share are looking at the Internet as the ideal place to meet potential clients

There very simple tools that a bilingual real estate professional can add to his or her arsenal that will help them effectively market Latinos online, here are some of the tools that I have used over the years with success.

1-bilingual real estate website: Studies shown that Latinos prefer to communicate in Spanish when they are transacting important business like buying or selling real estate, especially those who are first generation of immigrants, having a bilingual site, can help you accomplish this.

Allow your site visitors to interact with you without disclosing much of their personal information. You can accomplish this by creating tools like Q&A section, comments on your informative articles and videos; have downloadable educational guides, etc

2-ve a blog in Spanish: Blogs are great sources of information; it allows you the opportunity to demonstrate to your Spanish speaking readers that you are a real estate expert. Google “Spanish Real Estate Blogs” in your area to see how many they are, I can assure you that not many if any will come out on your search.

If you like to set up your own blog, you can use some easy formats for free like and Just follow the instruction and you could be blogging tonight.
Social Media En Español:

3- you are already a member of Facebook or LinkedIn this is great but it probably won’t help you interact with potential Latino clients, for that you must socialize where la “pachanga” is. Check out and these sites along with Yahoo En Español and could help you mingle with Latino.

It is important that you DO NOT sell your services, instead offer your professional experience and answer as many questions as your time allows, this strategy should produce results very soon.

When you are promoting your brand online, do it from the hart do not try any hard sale, as the online market place can help you build reputation and leverage more business, it also can ruin your real estate career. If you are there helping others, business will come soon enough, you’ll see.
If you have any comment or question feel free to drop me a line @

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Foreclosure, Some New Facts:

Foreclosures are touching literally everybody in our country, either you are one of the “unlucky one” who are facing foreclosure, or you know of a friend or family member in that situation or your home’s value was affected by a nearby-foreclosed property, the reality is that, foreclosures are part of our daily life and it seams that is going to be like this for a while.

After researching the market, I found some facts that I wanted to share with you.

Here are some facts that I was able to find:

*US Foreclosure Filings In February Up 30% On Year –RealtyTrac

*Slightly more than 290,000 properties- one in every 440 housing units - were slapped with a foreclosure filing in February, up nearly 30% from a year earlier
*Foreclosure cases rise on Long Island to a new higher level of 54% last month

*In Florida 8,450 existing homes sold, up 24 percent from the 6,810 homes sold in January 2008, according to FAR

*6% increase from January, was the third-highest monthly total - following those in August and December 2008

*Filings spike after moratoriums expire this month
Jacksonville, Fl Forbes’s prediction to become US foreclosure capital rank number 25 on the 100 top metro area list

*In Florida, one in every 188 homes faced foreclosure

*In Jacksonville, there were 2,107 foreclosures, or one for every 278 homes. That’s up 14 percent from January and up 29 percent from February of last year

*Jacksonville is number 5 amount Florida’s mayor cities facing foreclosure

*After a 45-day voluntary moratorium in Florida ended at the end of January, foreclosure activity increased 14% from a month earlier

*New York proceedings delayed by a 90-day extension appear to have hit the system in February, boosting foreclosure activity by 23%

*Thousands of Alt-A and option-arm loans worth $60 billion to $70 billion are due to reset starting in the second quarter

*One in every 440 homes nationwide was hit with a foreclosure filing

*Much of the foreclosure is rippling across former bubble markets

*In Las Vegas, one in every 60 units received a filing, giving the city the nation's highest rate among metro areas with a population of at least 200,000 and a rate more than seven times higher than the national average

*One in every 440 homes nationwide was hit with a foreclosure filing

*In Florida, one in every 188 homes faced foreclosure

*The Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., area came in next, with one in every 65 getting a filing from default notices to bank repossessions

*Phoenix ranks ninth with one in every 110 units

*Nationwide, 290,631 properties had foreclosure filings, 46,391 of which were in Florida

I am sure this facts list could go on and on, but we will stop here…for now.

Call to Action: Help Repeal the Cap on the Trust Funds in the Florida Senate

Repeal of Cap has passed in the House of Representatives!
But we have a big problem- and need your help.

Call to Action: Help Repeal the Cap on the Trust Funds in the Senate

What's Happening Now.

Today (April 27), the House passed the repeal of the cap on the housing trust funds in HB 161 by Representative Gary Aubuchon. The companion bill in the Senate, SB 1042 by Senator Bennett, also carries the repeal of the cap language and it is now in Senate Ways and Means Committee.

We must immediately encourage the Senate to either advance SB 1042 out of its last committee with the cap repeal remaining in the bill in order for the full Senate to take action on that version of the bill and/or take up HB 161 and pass it with the cap repeal. We must get SB 1042 bill moving so that the full Senate can pass cap repeal. There is no time to waste.


Call your Senator today and ask that he or she take action to move SB 1042 with repeal of the cap forward and/or to take up HB 161.

To find your State Senator's contact information click here and enter your zip code then click "go".

There are some rumors circulating that repeal of the cap will have some immediate negative fiscal impact. There is no fiscal impact from cap repeal now, nor over the next four state fiscal years (because of the low level of documentary tax collections, deposits to the housing trust funds are estimated to be significantly lower than the cap level).

Again, the time is now to CALL your Senator on this issue (emails are less effective at this time of the session).

To find your State Senator's contact information click here and enter your zip code then click "go".

The Senate has always supported the state and local housing trust funds. In 2005, a reluctant Senate supported placing a cap on the state and local housing trust funds to go into effect in 2007 as part of an agreement with Governor Bush, who was threatening to veto the reauthorization of the trust funds in 2004 (a reauthorization that both the House and Senate passed) unless the Senate President and Speaker of the House agreed to support a bill in 2005 to cap the trust funds. The bill that passed in 2005 put the cap into effect in 2007, the year that Governor Bush would have been term limited from office.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Major Lenders Cited In A Lawsuit For Conducting Predatory Lending Against Latinos

Lawsuits claim mortgage lenders took advantage of Hispanics
Sentinel Staff Report

6:50 PM EDT, April 14, 2009

ORLANDO - Hispanics were targeted by a group of predatory mortgage lenders who preyed on their limited abilities to read and speak English, lawsuits filed in Nevada, Arizona -- and soon, Florida -- which seeks class-action status claims.

Among the lenders cited in the lawsuits are Countrywide Home Loans Inc., Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, GMAC Mortgage, National City Bank, J.P. Morgan Chase, CitiMortgage Inc., HSBC Mortgage Corp., AIG United Guaranty Corp., Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America, PNC Financial Services Group Inc., Merrill Lynch, GE Money Bank and the Mortgage Electronic Registration System.

The lawsuits allege a nationwide conspiracy to defraud borrowers, which also has impacted investors and the federal government.The Gary, Williams, Finney, Lewis, Watson and Sperando law firm in Orlando is working with law firms in the other states and plans to file a similar suit in Florida. Read Full Article

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

HOPE Award Winners Remove Barriers to Minority Homeownership

WASHINGTON (April 21, 2009) – This year’s HOPE Awards (Home Ownership Participation for Everyone) winners exemplify the efforts of countless individuals and organizations across the country committed to closing the minority housing gap. Award recipients are selected for their outstanding leadership and achievement in helping minority families realize and sustain their homeownership dreams, forever enhancing and changing their lives.
The 2009 HOPE Awards winners are the Korean Churches for Community Development, Los Angeles (Education Award); Illinois Assistive Technology Program, Springfield, Ill. (Finance Award); Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina, Durham, N.C. (Media Award); Chris McCarthy, Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity (Leadership Award); and Affordable Homes of South Texas Inc., McAllen, Texas (Project of the Year Award).

HOPE Awards winners receive $10,000 and a $1,500 gift card from cosponsor Lowe’s. On May 12 the winners will present their programs and answer questions from journalists and industry experts at a symposium moderated by national real estate columnist Ken Harney. Later that evening, HOPE Awards winners will be recognized at a gala dinner and ceremony at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Sachi Koto, former anchor of CNN Headline News, will emcee the event.

The HOPE Awards is a national industry awards program that was created in 2001 to recognize individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to increasing minority homeownership, revitalizing communities and expanding affordable housing opportunities. The awards are conferred every other year.

The HOPE Awards is sponsored by a partnership of real estate organizations: the Asian Real Estate Association America, Chinese American Real Estate Professionals Association, Chinese Real Estate Association of America, National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, National Association of Real Estate Brokers, and the National Association of Realtors®.

A panel of distinguished judges selected the final winners from more than 100 applications. The judges were Henry Cisneros, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.); Nicolas P. Retsinas, director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University; Steven Nesmith, former Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and partner, Holland & Knight; Judge Lillian K. Sing, San Francisco Superior Court.
-more- #HOPE1
HOPE Award Winners – add 1

Award winners were chosen based on impact, innovation, minority focus, contributions to affordable housing and minority acceptance. The 2009 HOPE Awards winners are:


Korean Churches for Community Development, Hyepin Im, Los Angeles
KCCD was founded in 2001 as a nonprofit faith-based organization that serves as a bridge between the Asian American community and the greater community. The goal is to increase access to resources and funds to assist low income individuals and revitalize area neighborhoods.

The organization does this by helping remove cultural, linguistic, and economic barriers through education, economic development programs and strategic public and private partnerships. KCCD has provided homebuyer education and counseling to more than 4,500 individuals and is helping to sustain homeownership in the L.A. area through foreclosure prevention and loss mitigation counseling.

Illinois Assistive Technology Program, Robin Benson, Springfield, Ill.
IATP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enabling people with disabilities to fully participate in all aspects of life. The organization also oversees the Homeownership Coalition for People with Disabilities, which since 2002 has helped more than 300 people with disabilities and their families achieve greater levels of independence through homeownership.

The group is committed to assisting all people, regardless of their disability, in purchasing and maintaining their own home through comprehensive pre- and post-purchase support, allowing them to live in the community as independently as possible. The program boasts a foreclosure rate of less than 1 percent.

Chris McCarthy, Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity, Nashville, Tenn.
Chris retired from a career in accounting in 2000, only to come out of retirement a few years later to take over as CEO of the NAHFH. Under Chris’s leadership, NAHFH has grown tremendously in recent years –from building 10 to 15 homes each year to upwards of 55 homes. NAHFH has been recognized in the top 1 percent of the nation’s Habitat affiliates and received the EPA’s Energy Star certification, the first Habitat affiliate to receive this award. In 2007, Chris led the development of one of the largest all-Habitat neighborhoods in the U.S.; the 43-acre community has 138 homes as well as play lots, walking trails and picnic facilities. Chris is now leading the construction of a second community, with a potential of 112 more homes.

Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina, Peter Skillern, Durham, N.C.
CRA-NC created Nuestro Barrio, a Spanish-language miniseries about Hispanic life in the U.S. While Nuestro Barrio’s objective is to educate viewers, the telenovela, or soap opera format, helps engage and entertain viewers on a variety of issues including homeownership, finances and banking, and health and wellness. The program has been broadcast to more than 25 million households, and more than 60,000 DVDs have been distributed through high schools, financial institutions and nonprofit partners.

Affordable Homes of South Texas Inc., Robert Calvillo, McAllen, Texas
AHSTI is a nonprofit housing initiative that provides education and homeownership opportunities to low income residents in South Texas. AHSTI acts as land developer, general contractor and a full-service mortgage provider. Since 1976 the organization has placed more than 2,800 families into homes, nearly 40 percent of those were single parent families.

Cosponsors for the 2009 HOPE Awards are Lowe’s, the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council, Realogy, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA, NRT LLC and Sotheby’s International Realty.
For more information about the HOPE Awards, visit

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The First 6 Major Lenders To Join Government Mortgage Program

By Bill Arce

Wednesday, The Treasury Department announced that it has fully executed agreements with six major mortgage lenders and or servicing companies wanting to participate in the Federal Government’s $75 billion foreclosure prevention program.

Collectively these lenders could be eligible to receive up to $10 billion in incentive payments for assisting homeowners facing foreclosure avoid them by agreeing to lower the payments to affordable levels. According with Obama’s administration the program that was officially launched last month, could assist as many as 4 million homeowners saving their by modifying their mortgages.

The First six lenders that sign the contract with the government are:

::Wells Fargo, which could receive up to $2.9 billion.

::Select Portfolio Servicing, which could receive up to $376 million.

:: Chase Home Finance (a unit of J.P. Morgan Chase), which could receive up to $3.5 billion.

::Citi Mortgage which could receive up to $2 billion.

:: Saxon Mortgage Services, which could receive up to $407 million.

:: GMAC Mortgage, which could receive up to $633 million.

Only time will tell if this program will assist the majority of homeowners in foreclosure, critics are saying that the program falls short when it comes to help homeowners that already lost their home o there is no assistance for those facing foreclosure for lack of jobs. Long ago, foreclosures were due mainly to subprime mortgage, but with the slow economic we are seeing more and more cases where the main factor for losing a home is due to unemployment.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

FREE Homeownership Preservation Workshop In San Diego

1-to-1 Counseling
• Workshops
• Homeownership Preservation

FREE And open to the public
Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 10am - 4pm
San Diego Concourse - Golden Hall
202 C Street, San Diego
We’re Here to Help Californians Avoid Foreclosures.

Project Homeowner is a statewide program, designed to help keep California homeowners in their homes, led by the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and sponsored by Chase. Events across California provide information and resources to help homeowners stay in their homes. Get the safe access you need to advisors, counselors and lenders from both private and public organizations including the California Department of Real Estate.

Get answers to the questions many California homeowners have:
Learn if there is an opportunity for you to modify your loan and additional options that may exist.

Register for the event and learn more at:
Walk-ins welcome.

Be sure to bring:
1 Your most recent mortgage statement and any other related correspondence.
2 Income Documentation*
- Wage-earners must provide two (2) current pay stubs
- Your most recent two years’ W2s
- Self-employed individuals must provide 4 months of the most recent bank statements and most recent tax return.
- An audited or reviewed YTD income statement is required for corporations and LLCs
3 Your most recent two (2) years’ tax returns
4 Your promissory note
5 A list of your monthly expenses

Florida Realtors(R) Support Push to Advance Homebuyer Tax Credit Aid

ORLANDO, Fla., April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Finding a way to turn a new $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers into money that they can use right away for a downpayment would spark the recovery of Florida's housing market and boost the state's economy, says Cynthia Shelton, 2009 president of the Florida Association of Realtors(R) (FAR).
"A revitalized housing market and commercial real estate industry are crucial to Florida's economic recovery," Shelton says. "While the new tax credit provides a great incentive for first-time homebuyers to find the home of their dreams here in Florida, many qualified buyers may be unable to take advantage of it because they cannot come up with the necessary downpayment to purchase a home in the first place. We need to encourage Florida lawmakers to take action now - converting the tax credit into cash upfront could help thousands of first-time buyers overcome that financial barrier to homeownership, which generates an economic ripple that stimulates the state's overall economy."

With tighter credit restrictions these days, many banks are reluctant to lend money, notes John Sebree, vice president of public policy for FAR. Research indicates that 8,000 to 12,000 prospective first-time homebuyers in Florida could benefit if the federal tax-credit stimulus provision could be accessed on the front-end to help consumers with downpayment and closing costs.

"Finding a state solution to this problem is key," Sebree said. "The money should only be available to people who are eligible for the new tax credit. The state would advance the cash to these buyers, who would then forward their tax credits back to the state. These families could get their $8,000 tax credit in a matter of months, so it basically would be a short-term loan. But we have to move quickly, since homebuyers have to complete their purchase by Nov. 30, 2009, to receive the tax credit."

Gov. Charlie Crist is considering the proposal. A coalition of Florida consumers, Realtors, lenders and homebuilders are lobbying state legislators to come up with a "Florida Formula" to allow first-time homebuyers to use the federal tax credit upfront. Spearheaded by the Consumer Federation of the Southeast (CFSE), a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, the alliance includes the Florida Association of Realtors, the Florida Home Builders Association, the Florida Bankers Association, the Florida Credit Union League, the Florida Manufactured Housing Association, Florida Association of Mortgage Brokers, the Latin Builders Association, and the Builders Association of South Florida.

For more information about the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit, go to the Florida Association of Realtors(R) web site at:

The Florida Association of Realtors (FAR), the voice for real estate in Florida, provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 125,000 members in 67 boards/associations.

SOURCE Florida Association of Realtors
Published Apr. 3, 2009 Copyright © 2009 SYS-CON Media. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Tino Díaz Joins Casa Latino Real Estate

Hispanic Real Estate Industry leader, Tino Diaz, becomes a part of the Casa Latino Franchise Corporation bringing additional expertise and leadership to the fastest growing real estate brand in the US.

Celebration, Florida- April 1, 2009-- Casa Latino Franchise Corporation, the undisputed national leader in the Hispanic real estate market, has hired Tino Diaz of CharisPros
USA, Inc. of Miami, FL to provide strategic planning expertise to support the company's rampant system growth both in the US and Latin America.

During his long career, Mr. Diaz has held a number of key roles in the financial services industry and his experience is wide-ranging. He has worked with community and multinational banks as well as thrifts and insurance companies. He has provided leadership in various financial services businesses and institutions.

Mr. Diaz is also the current Chairman of the National Association of Hispanic Real
Estate Professionals (NAHREP) and was the primary author and the lead proponent of the trade organization's Code of Trust known as "En Confianza".

Throughout his career Mr. Diaz has also served in an advisory capacity and coach to executive management and boards of directors of banks, insurance companies and other financial services intermediaries and trade associations.

In addition to his consulting role at Casa Latino, Mr. Diaz has acquired franchise development rights in Metro Chicago and is expected to acquire franchise development rights in several other key Hispanic and multi-cultural markets.

"We are extremely pleased that Tino has agreed to provide us with consulting services and to have him become a member of our franchise ownership family," said Robb
Heering, CEO. "His knowledge, background and values make him a key addition to our organization. His experience in the industry will be of great value to us in our pursuit to become the global leader in the Hispanic and multicultural real estate market."

Mr. Diaz, who makes his home in Miami, Florida, has his Bachelor of Science degree in
Marketing from the University of Illinois, and a Master of Science in Strategic Management from Purdue University.

For additional information on Tino Diaz or Casa Latino Franchise Corporation please contact Kristin Taylor or visit

About Casa Latino Franchise Corporation:
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. While the company serves everyone, regardless of heritage, the company's model is designed to provide superior service to a multicultural market. The company offers franchisees unprecedented culturally specific and significant back office support, training, marketing tools, advertising, 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. Casa Latino has awarded franchises in 14 states and is executing an aggressive growth plan in the USA and several other countries.

Kristin Taylor, Public Relations
Casa Latino Franchise Corporation

Thursday, April 02, 2009

A new wave of foreclosures

Sub-prime mortgages are no longer the only one thing responsible for foreclosures. Prime mortgage borrowers are being affected too.
Job losses are affecting homeowners, including those with low rate prime mortgages. Freddie Mac reported last year that 46% of foreclosures in June wee related to loss of income or unemployment.

Inman News reported a jump in prime-loan foreclosures from January to February.
HOPE NOW put the number of foreclosure starts on prime loans during February at 157,000, a 25 percent increase from the month before. Foreclosure starts on subprime loans fell by 5 percent, to 86,000.

The record 243,000 foreclosure starts recorded in February represented a 12 percent increase from the month before and a 36 percent increase from a year ago.
The good news is that NOT every home headed for foreclosure ends up loosing their homes. However, with more homeowners waiting for help assistance can get a little too late for those people who lost their income. It is imperative that lenders step up and negotiate a positive loan workout that would allow the homeowners to stay remain in home while they are actively looking for a job.

There is no dough that this homeownership nightmare in part started because of irresponsible lending, but that should not be a reason to punish responsible homeowners with fully documented prime mortgage who fall on victims of this national cause. Homeownership is the foundation of our society if we don't do something to preserve that foundation, future generations will be suffering for our mistakes.

Comments? -

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Tips to Rent Out Your Condo

It’s a tough time in the real estate world what with the market crashing because hundreds of homeowners defaulting on their mortgages. If you’re looking for a buyer for your property now, the prospects are not too good. It’s easier to rent, especially if you have a condominium or similar property. If you’re looking for tips on how to find good tenants for your condo, read on:

1. Check out local laws and regulations on hiring a tenant and setting rent.

2. Some states require you to register before you put your property up for rent.

3. Read up on real estate, especially on the going rates for properties in your area.

4. You need to set rent to an amount that’s neither too high nor too low. You can do this by looking at local classifieds to see what others are charging for similar property. Alternatively, you could talk to other landlords in the area to decide on an appropriate amount.

5. When deciding on the rent, you need to include your mortgage and operating and maintenance expenses for the condo.

6. Condos that are on higher floors and those that have great views tend to go for higher rates.

7. If you plan to increase the rent every year, be upfront with your tenants. You also need to check your local ordinance to see how much of a percentage increase you can effect annually. You may have to submit a written application and inform your tenants beforehand.

8.Check out tenants before you rent. You don’t want troublemakers or people who’re not going to take care of the property.

Some condo owners, especially those who live in places that are filled with tourists during holidays, turn their places into vacation rentals, homes they rent out during vacations to tourists. On the upside, you get a higher rent for letting out your place for just a few months each year. And on the downside, your place is empty for most of the year (especially if the tourist flow is seasonal), so you lose out on the money that could be made in rent.

Others decide to sell the house and invest the proceeds in another form of investment. As the owner, it’s up to you to decide what to do with your condo, but whatever you do, make sure you are informed about the pros and cons of your decision before you take the final step.

This post was contributed by Courtney Phillips, who writes about online bachelor's degree. She welcomes your feedback at CourtneyPhillips80 at

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