KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WATE) – Buying a first-time home in today’s market isn’t always an easy process to navigate and a nonprofit in East Tennessee aims to help Spanish speakers by offering them education and empowerment. Executives at HomeSource East Tennessee want Hispanics and Latinos to know they’re here to help.
“We are currently the only agency to offer training in Spanish to first-time homebuyers for those taking advantage of down payment assistance,” said Laura Contreras, Homeownership Center Manager at HomeSource on Tuesday. . “All down payment assistance programs require education, and getting it in your native language is so important – otherwise it defeats the purpose and you don’t get it ( as a buyer). “
A report released earlier this year by Realtor.com says more than 600,000 Latinos bought homes with a mortgage last year – a 13% jump from 2019, according to one recent report by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals.
Contreras also explained how HomeSource East Tennessee provides additional services in Spanish so that potential landlords are more familiar with things like option-to-buy leases and bad credit.
âWe are also providing assistance so that our community does not fall prey to option-to-buy leases that never end and are just plain bad for buyers,â Contreras said. âWe offer financial literacy classes, help with credit repair and / or build credit; work with area lenders who help overseas buyers.
The group also administered CARES funds to currently assist with applications for the Knox Housing Assistance Program; Currently, HomeSource has over 200 rental units that are not only energy efficient (utility bill help), but also geared towards low income tenants and seniors.
Currently, the HUD-certified nonprofit is the only agency this side of Nashville to have Spanish-speaking counselors, according to Contreras. And they want to help their community. To learn more about HomeSource, the link to his page is here.
For more Hispanic Heritage Stories celebrating the history, culture, and contributions of Hispanics and Latinos in eastern Tennessee, visit our Hispanic Heritage Month page and check out the 2021 Special Program.
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