How To Buy A home According To Latinas

In this economy, it’s not just the myths of Rosalie and stories of dragons that seem like fairytales anymore. Today it seems that a wish upon a star may be the only thing to make most millennial homeownership dreams come true. Still, a recent post on Instagram is proving to us that buying a home doesn’t have to be as far off as it sounds.

Recently, we asked Latinas on Instagram to share their best home buying tips, and we got quite a few empowering answers.

Check them out below!

Pay attention and be present.

“Be present at the inspection. Have questions ready. Give the inspector time and space while they’re focusing, but be ready to ask about what they find after. I also wish that I asked the inspector to check for mold on the ceilings (there ended up being some where the roof had leaked; he did check near the walls adjacent to the bathroom and plumbing fixtures). If there are repairs you know you may need, such as the garage being redone, check what city ordinances there are (e.g., are you allowed to rebuild the garage as is? Is a different size required?). That info could have helped me be stronger in some negotiations. I also saved as much as I could with a side hustle, paid down my student loans as much as I could, and saved whatever else was possible so I could afford to get a project/fixer upper house and be able to lock in a lower mortgage and tax rates while having cash ready to upgrade. Finally, I started scoping out homes a few years before I knew I’d be ready. First, I went to workshops hosted by my credit union and took all sorts of notes. Then I made appointments with a friend who is a realtor so I was able to see what I could afford and how I needed to improve my finances. I got pre-approved for a loan to also see what could work for my situation. That info helped me focus on neighborhoods and homes that I knew would be in my price range.” – jesvalsilva

“Make sure to include 2-3% of purchase price to your savings goals for closing costs.” – trippinwithmicky

“Patience, patience, patience. Before doing anything reduce your debt. clean up your credit score. Several people are wanting to buy now because the interest rate is low I mean 2.8% low. But there’s a shortage on the amount of house for sale, therefore the costs are going up (due to the high demand). I have been trying to purchase a home since feb this year and no luck yet. When placing an offer include why you are seeking to purchase the home (start a family, start a new career, support the community). With that being said wish me much we might close this Friday.” –its.stefb

Check on grants

“First time home buyer, check for down payment grants in your City and State; save or register for house warming items… lawn maintenance and home tools are a must have.” – siempre_marcela

“Be patient, but be demanding and clear with your statements REMEMBER THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT TO CALL HOME FOR A VERY LONG TIME so ask and look for what you need and want for a long run. Keep track of everything by down loading 3 copies, on your computer or phone (back them up always) one you will print and keep in your records, and the copy you’ll be sending over to your seller or whatever you’re working with. Be very very meticulous with how you organize your papers there will be a lot to handle. Be ready to sign a shit load of things. We had a total of 185 signatures! Have someone you trust and knows about construction walk the house with you more than 3 times and check everything, have that person that knows about construction take notes, pictures and videos of absolutely everything. Always always always remember about closing costs and try your absolute best to get those paid for. Negotiate. Don’t settle so easily just because it sounds better. Make sure it works for you not just now but in the next 10 years. So have that out. Of course you don’t know the future but still be sure you have a VISION and walk toward it to get that fulfilled. If I’m any case you are in LA and need people for these jobs at all please feel free to DM me we got our house 3 years ago it’s a beautiful 8 bedroom 5 bathroom double property. My family is more than happy to pass over the contact information of our realtor, mortgage lender, and contractor/appraiser. BEST OF LUCK! Over all of these things remember to pray (if that’s your thing) pray pray PRAY, God has a home(not a house) but a for you & your family.” –ta_ta1009

“USDA & other federal government grants, loans, and more. I haven’t used them, but a cousin did and was able to build her house from the ground up with it. Once built to the specs needed, she can now upgrade as she pleases.” –sirhc

Get an agent

“Hire a professional that knows what their doing. Having an agent represent you on the purchase of your house cost you $0 yes you heard that right the seller pays both agents. Done reply on assistance programs, yes they give you $ upfront but your rate will be higher there’s not such a thing as FREE money.” –yo_laura10

“Check what u qualify for now. Look for houses in that range. If you need to make a little more to qualify for a higher price point now you have an idea. I bought a house two years after first checking what I qualified for. Then I worked hard to make enough to qualify for the price range I wanted. Also, make a list of all the things you want— # of rooms, # of bathrooms, location, natural light, architecture style (ie. A rambler or a two-story), etc. Lastly, look at even the houses that aren’t that cute to you. The more houses you look at the more you will understand what is truly a deal breaker and what isn’t. It’s like dating ha! Good luck!” – flomaci

“Also make sure to get a fixed interest rate! Remember that if the interest rate is high at the time you buy, you can always refinance in 2-3 years after your home equity is at least 20% (assuming you didn’t put in 20% down payment).” – flomaci

Know the myths

“Get very clear on your goals and where you want to live and in what kind of home. Have a list of your must haves and nice to haves. Have a great realtor that understands your needs and is willing to go the extra mile for you. Sign up to various apps to find different properties Zillow and realtor are a couple but also try home snap and have your realtor create direct lists from the mls that match what you are looking for. Get out to see the property ASAP do not wait depending on your market there is a shortage right now bc of Covid making it very very competitive. Do not look for houses that are at your max. That is if you know that you have a maximum of 600k do not look for 600k homes look for a little lower so you have some wiggle room in case you need to out bid someone. Get a great inspector and negotiate for repairs or closing costs. You do not need to have 20% downpayment or a great credit score or no student debt. These are myths. Would love to help any latinas that are looking to buy their first home. Si se puede.” – malatorre

You can save for your downpayment by contributing to your 401k

“You can save for the down by aggressively contributing to your 401k & then pulling out the money later towards the purchase of a first home without penalty.” – elizabeth_in_cali

“Don’t forget about closing cost and the and negotiate for Seller to cover those. You don’t loose anything with trying to get those covered. The worst thing they can say is ‘No’ or cover portion of it.” – cislatheflowerpot

“I’m a realtor. I can give advice.” – angelalcarrasco

“Shop around for the best deal on mortgage. Get two or three pre approvals.” – angiecastilloxo

Get a hungry realtor you can trust

“Get a good, trustworthy, dedicated (aka full time), experienced and hungry realtor. A realtor job is to protect you in the process and be your advocate. Work with their recommended team to make the process as smooth and seamless as possible. Ask about grant info, and other types of loans not just FHA. Be clear on your preferences and make a hard yes and no list. Look into neighborhoods. Meet with a mortgage broker before you’re fully ready, they will give you advise on what to look for, how much to save and other tips.” –thinkingofking

“Talk to the neighbors if they’re willing. Ask them what they like/dislike about the neighborhood/street/city.” – lifewithsweetivy

Check in with HOA

“If the neighborhood has a HOA talk to the neighbors about how it deals with stuff. Does the HOA nitpick about every little thing to do they ignore almost everything?” –daisymead

Flush all the toilets! Make sure they are good to go.” – rosieeedanny

“Interview your realtor and mortgage lender before selecting. Calculate all the numbers in the final contract by hand or calculator. I found an error of an extra $2000.” – tacoboutvero

“Buy in a down market.” – indi_and_ary

“Don’t. Owning a house is a scam and money dump.” –mariaelena34

“Be present for the inspection!!!! So important! Don’t be afraid to ask for items to be fixed.” – chilosogummybear

“Don’t buy new development. Don’t work with people who know each other; hire independent agent, attorney, inspector, mortgage company. Attorneys matter. You can miss out on properties if they’re too slow to work on contracts. Always pay extra to inspect ceilings.” –jessirymer

Check on the house’s insurance needs

“Ask if its in a flood zone. Flood insurance can be pretty expensive. Its an additional insurance u hv to pay every month.” – netflix_and_chihuhua

“Communication is everything! Make sure that the realtor you are working with is constantly communication with you about your home buying process. Being honest about what’s needed is key to getting a great deal and your dream home.” – miriam_larealtor

“Interview as many real estate agents as you want. Don’t let them guilt you into using them if you don’t think they’re a fit. A great real estate agent can make or break your home buying process. I interviewed 5 before finding one that I felt comfortable with.” –les.lie.lau

“If anyone in the Phoenix area is looking to buy or sell or just has questions about the home buying process, por favor and llámame.”- abemagana_

“Make sure you account for closing costs! Inspect with the inspector.” – kay_bae18

“Ask someone who lives in that neighborhood and similar house is what their electric and water bill is like , do they like the garbage system, what are the main noises going down.” – flakajasmin

Take a home buying class

“Take a home buying course. There are a lot of nonprofits out there that offer them for free, like New Economics for Women. Not only will they educate you on what it takes to purchase a home, but can also let you know about different loan and grant programs in your area.” – oneredcloud

Most important thing is to work with a team of professionals that can help translate your dreams and goals into actions. You need a financing strategy – so your payments are in line with your lifestyle – and to truly understand the cost of home ownership. This will guide your whole experience and in truth – your overall satisfaction with owning a home. Start with a mortgage advisor that is there to educate – not pressure you!” –@meg___gyver 

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9 LGBTQ+ Latinas Making The World A Better Place Through Representation


9 LGBTQ+ Latinas Making The World A Better Place Through Representation

stephaniebeatriz / lidopimienta / Instagram

Women are a driving force for change. It has been proven time and time again in history. LGBTQ+ Latinas are part of this tradition whether it is in activism, media, or representation in comic books. Here are 9 LGBTQ+ Latinas who are doing their part to make the world a better place.

Stephanie Beatriz

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Stephanie Beatriz is known for her character Rosa on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” The actress wanted to create a character that someone like her could relate to and she made it happen. Rosa came out in the show as a bisexual Latina and it gave Beatriz a chance to play a character that reflects her real identity. For the first time, bisexual Latinas have someone on television that speaks to a very real and important identity.

Tessa Thompson

Tessa Thompson publicly came out of the closet as bisexual in 2018. The actress revealed her relationship with musician Janelle Monáe and fans were there to support her. Thompson made a real splash in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when she portrayed Valkyrie in “Thor: Ragnarok.” She will be slaying again as Valkrie in “Thor: Love and Thunder.”

Bamby Salcedo

Bamby Salcedo is unapologetically trans and fighting for trans lives and rights. Salcedo founded the TransLatin@ Coalition to create a network for trans Latinas to connect and help each other thrive. Salcedo is often in protests for trans lives including against Pete Buttigieg during a CNN/HRC Town Hall.

Victoria Cruz

Victoria Cruz is a gatekeeper of LGBTQ+ history. The indigenous trans woman was there for the start of the Gay Liberation movement in 1969. Cruz has been a leader in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. Cruz has continued to her fight for trans rights even in the face of transphobia in the LGBTQ+ community. As the LGBTQ+ community tends for forget its history, Cruz is here to remind them of how important the trans community is in gaing LGBTQ+ rights.

Carmen Carrera

Carmen Carrera first came into everyone’s home as a contestant on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” This was before she started her transition. Since embarking on her transition journey, Carrera has had a very successful career as a supermodel, became a stepmother, and has been championing trans rights in the U.S. and Peru. The activist has spent years breaking down stereotypes about trans people wherever she goes.

Salice Rose

Salice Rose is a major name in social media. With more than 16 million followers on TikTok, Rose has created a place for people to feel safe and included. Using comedy and her spirituality, Rose has been able to tackle important issues, like coming out.

Gabby Rivera

Gabby Rivera was tapped to write for the America Chavez comic book in a move by Marvel that was widely celebrated. Rivera was able to give American Chavez, a queer Latin superhero, an authentic voice. Rivera is also the author of “Juliet Takes A Breaths.’ The young adult novel follows a Puerto Rican girl who comes out to her family right before going to an internship on the other side of the country.

Martine Gutierrez

Martine Gutierrez is a famed photographer and artist that has displayed work around the world. The art critic Barbara Calderon wrote about Gutierrez’s identity that has been an elusive yet broad identity. Calderon spoke of terms used to identify oneself yet none seemed to accurately describe who Gutierrez is.

Lido Pimienta

Lido Pimienta is an Afro-indigenous Colombian Canadian musician who is transforming Latin music, especially the scene with her sexuality. The queer musician is unapologetic about her identity for the sake of visibility. Pimienta feels a need to stay ver visible to change the long-running history of no queer visibility in media.

READ: Here Are Some Queer Films And Shows To Watch To Start Pride Off Right

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Turns Out The First Owner Of Beverly Hills Was An Impressive Afro-Mexican Woman


Turns Out The First Owner Of Beverly Hills Was An Impressive Afro-Mexican Woman

Frazer Harrison / Getty

Beverly Hills, one of the most well-known destinations in the country and world has long been a thriving and prime area for real-estate. Long before it was colonized by the Spanish, and was largely populated by rich white elites, the Indigenous people of California known as the Tongva, thrived there.

Hundreds of years later, in the 1830s, when the area was colonized, Maria Rita Valdez Villa, the granddaughter of Spanish colonists Luis and Maria Quintero and the great-granddaughter of an African slave was granted the original 4,500-acre of Beverly Hills, then known as El Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas.

Yes, as it turns out the foremother of Beverly Hills was a Black Latina!

During her ownership, Maria Rita oversaw cattle ranching and farming.

According to LA Magazine, Rita “was well known for holding a yearly celebratory rodeo under a famous eucalyptus tree at what is now Pico and Robertson boulevards.”

Sadly, after working the land for so much time, three Indigenous Californian outlaws attacked the ranch in 1852. The attack led to a shootout amongst “a grove of walnut trees at what is now Benedict Canyon and Chevy Chase drives” and eventually in 1854 Maria Rita decided to sell the area to investors Henry Hancock and Benjamin D. Wilson for $4,000.

Perhaps there’s a chance for justice for Maria Rita in the end.

Recently, Los Angeles County officials revealed that they were contemplating returning a beachfront property that was seized from a Black family nearly a century ago.

According to the Guardian, Manhattan Beach used “eminent domain” in 1924 to force Willa and Charles Bruce, the city’s first Black landowners, of the land where they lived. “The Bruces also ran a resort for Black families during a time when beaches in the strand were segregated,” explained the Guardian in a recent report. “Part of the land was developed into a city park. It is now owned by Los Angeles county and houses lifeguard headquarters and a training center.”

Manhattan Beach county Supervisor Janice Hahn announced that she was looking into ways to restore justice for Bruce family. Options include delivering the land back to the family, paying for losses, or potentially leasing the property from them

“I wanted the county of Los Angeles to be a part of righting this terrible wrong,” Hahn explained in a recent interview with KABC-TV.

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