Bauer Business Focus

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Berenice Yu | August 5, 2016

Published on August 5, 2016

On Bauer Business Focus – a conversation on Avenue CDC’s free classes for future homebuyers.

Bernice Yu

Bernice Yu

Berenice Yu of Avenue CDC stopped by Bauer Business Focus to discuss her organization’s Homebuyers’ Club, which provides free classes for residents looking to buy a home in the greater Houston area.

“The Homebuyer’s Club is for anybody who’s not yet ready,” Yu said. “They want to buy a home in maybe six months, maybe a year or two or three years from now. They have other competing priorities in their life that they need to work on, or maybe they have a long credit history that they know they need to work on. So the Homebuyer’s Club is a place where they can come to start getting information, to start getting their ducks in a row.”

The class offers practical advice for future homebuyers, including topics such as building credit, understanding your credit score and preparing for a mortgage. Participants also learn about common first-time purchaser mistakes, such as paying for an inspection before signing a contract.

“There’s a certain inspection process that you should go through, and a lot of people don’t know those things. They just kind of go with their feelings. They get emotional about a house and they want to do the inspection before they put a contract so that they don’t put a contract on a bad house,” she added. “But they don’t realize that when you have a contract you have a termination period. So you can pay $100 to give you peace of mind. And if you do your inspection during those 10 days and you decide not to buy the house because there’s major problems with it, you haven’t lost anything but the $100.”

The class is hoping to make purchasing a home a realistic option for Houstonians, including low-income families who can benefit from deposit assistance program (which Avenue CDC also provides).

“Renting is turning out to be unaffordable in the city of Houston,” Yu added. “Right now you’ll see that a two bedroom apartment can average at about $1,500 a month. Whereas if you were to buy a home, which we see our average first time home buyer buying at a $150,000 price point, their monthly payment including mortgage tax and insurance would be about $1,250. So in many cases it’ll be cheaper to buy a home than to rent. Plus you’re building savings in equity that you can later use to retire or to pay for your child’s education.”

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