A Houston group has launched a new Web site to provide more Latinos with home-buying information at CasaNuevaHouston.com.

The local online home-buying guide is presented in Spanish and English. The site creators say it was launched to help dispel many of the myths that keep Latino families from owning homes.

“Owning your own home is a universal dream, but Latinos in Houston are behind other groups in making this dream a reality,” said Anita Sparks-Bohn, a principal founder of the Web site. “The number one reason is lack of information, and we created CasaNuevaHouston.com to help Latinos take advantage of many programs available to help them.”

Some of the myths Sparks-Bohn noted that discourage Latinos from considering a home purchase include:

  • The need for a lot of cash to cover down payment and closing costs;

  • Establishing traditional credit that must be perfect or nearly perfect;

  • That buyers must be U.S. citizens to purchase a home;

  • Prospective buyers can’t qualify for a loan if they are paid in cash.

CasaNuevaHouston.com provides a listing of assistance programs available to Houston home buyers, as well as a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” covering topics such as financing and citizenship, and a step-by-step guide to the home-buying process. The site also includes helpful links.

Other content includes Spanish-language mortgage calculators, which home shoppers can use to get an idea of what price range they might be able to afford, and what their monthly payments might look like. One calculator allows site visitors to compare the benefits of renting versus owning.

CasaNuevaHouston.com also has an interactive “Ask Us” feature, providing site visitors with personalized answers to their questions about buying a new home.

Sparks-Bohn said home builders and mortgage companies are also taking steps to welcome Latino customers and to make them feel comfortable. These measures include hiring more Spanish-speaking sales consultants, as well as translating Web sites and brochures into Spanish. 

CasaNuevaHouston.com is supported by advertising revenue from companies wanting to reach out to Latino home buyers, including home builders, community developers, mortgage lenders and others. Major advertisers currently include home builder Centex Homes and Land Tejas, a local developer.

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