The California Association of Realtors announced the launch of an educational guide to help the state’s more than 15 million Latinos purchase homes and become homeowners.

The campaign promoted by the California Association of Realtors (CAR) will encourage Latinos to visit the websites and, which are both fully bilingual. The sites promote financial education, the importance of credit, the home buying process and how to contact a real estate agency.

“More than 25% of Hispanic consumers who rent in California can buy a home,” C.A.R. President Dave Walsh said.

“We want to empower them with knowledge about qualifying, shopping and closing on a home. We’ve learned through our research that they’re concerned about affordability and saving for down payments,” the realtor said.

Jorge DeLeon, Branch Manager for Coldwell Banker Realty, said to VIDA Newspaper, that he is always advocating for the opportunity to learn something, and is proud of C.A.R. for what they are doing. “I really would like for the Latino community to be as educated as possible so they can actually make the right decisions and not necessarily rely on someone that is telling them blindly that ‘this is what you need to do’,” DeLeon said. DeLeon recommended to not always go to the most popular real estate agencies, as there are many smaller and less-promoted agencies that can help just as well or more.

Surveys commissioned by C.A.R. indicate that four out of five Hispanic consumers are interested in buying a home, but do not know that they qualify.

Lorenzo Castillo, realtor and owner of EXIT Castillo Realty, said to VIDA Newspaper, that it is important to talk to a trusted real estate agent to learn more about purchasing a home. “It could be somebody that you know or somebody that you were referred to that can educate you on the market as it is right now,” Castillo said. “Talk to a lender as well to get prequalified before looking at any houses.” Castillo mentioned that getting prequalified is one of the most important steps on purchasing a home to determine whether it is a good time for you to purchase. 

Price, neighborhood safety, size and number of rooms are the most important factors in the home buying decision, with millennials and Gen X youth having the most interest in buying.

“We learned that 85% of Hispanic homebuyers saw owning a home as part of the American dream,” Walsh said.

Maria Zendejas, realtor and CEO at Realty World Golden Era, said to VIDA Newspaper, she’s happy that C.A.R is launching a program to help out the Latino community.  “I think it’s an underserved market and it’s time that we launched campaigns to help them become homeowners,” Zendejas said.  She also mentioned that one of the biggest obstacles in buying a home is the down payment, but that people shouldn’t be afraid of it.  “There’s many programs out there that help them with down payments and closing costs. I think the most important thing is that [buyers] get the knowledge that they need,” Zendejas said.

Hector Cano, realtor at Global 365 Real Estate Group, said to VIDA Newspaper, that it’s a bad sign if a realtor or a lender is asking for money upfront.  “If you go see a real estate agent and they ask you for money, a deposit, cash, or a check payable to them – walk away,” Cano said. “We’re not supposed to take people’s money. A deposit is collected when they go into escrow, but that just goes into escrow.”

A study published this year by the Urban Institute think tank predicted that between 2020 and 2040, 70% of home buyers will be Latino.