NEW YORK, April 12, 2023 (EFE) — Homeownership is the dream of millions of people because it means long-term stability and wealth, and Latinos in the United States are doing their part to achieve it, as evidenced by the steady increase in the number of homeowners of that origin.
If the average rate of increase of nearly one percentage point every two years continues as it has in the last 14 years, the homeownership rate among Latinos will reach 50% by 2025, according to the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals‘ 2021 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report. According to the U.S. Census Bureau‘s 2020 Analysis of Household Wealth, Asset Ownership and Debt data, homeownership accounts for 67% of Hispanic wealth.
“For many Hispanic-Latino families, financial stability means passing on assets to their children to provide a sense of security for the next generation to achieve their goals,” says Joe Velazquez, senior vice president, for production at Bank of America.
Bank of America offers affordable mortgage programs, grants and even online courses in English and Spanish to help low- and middle-income individuals make the “leap” to homeownership. “The value that the Hispanic-Latino community places on homeownership is very encouraging, as it continues to be a major source of wealth creation and the basis for upward mobility,” adds Velazquez.
NOT ONLY FINANCIAL BENEFITS
That homeownership plays a key role in personal and financial well-being is something that most Americans believe in regardless of race or ethnicity, various surveys and reports have shown. Fixed monthly mortgage payments are seen as protecting against rising rent prices and allowing for steady savings, but, in addition, the appreciation of homeownership over time builds household equity, which can then support the next generation.
Reports also speak of non-financial benefits, such as increased civic participation, higher levels of education, improved health and life satisfaction, and a greater sense of self-esteem and control. Homeownership has long encouraged residents to connect with neighbors, build communities and put down long-term roots, says a Bank of America report on the profile of U.S. homebuyers.
HELP TO MAKE THE “LEAP”
One of the biggest challenges for those with the dream of homeownership is the upfront costs, something Bank of America’s $15 billion Community Homeownership Commitment aims to help low- and moderate-income homebuyers overcome that hurdle. It comprises up to $17,500 in combined grants for down payment and closing costs. The America’s Home Grant program offers a credit of up to $7,500 that eligible buyers can use to pay non-recurring closing costs, such as title insurance and register fees, or to permanently reduce the interest rate.
The funds do not require repayment and can be combined with funds from thethe Down Payment Grant Program, which offers grants of up to 3% of the home purchase price, up to $10,000, to be used for a down payment in select markets. Bank of America also provides educational programs through the BetterMoneyHabits.com website, which offers free videos o and tutorials in English and Spanish regarding managing finances, the pros and cons of renting versus buying, and how to prepare to buy a home.