There are more homes for sale, cash investors are dropping away, and huge year-over-year price increases are tapering off. But for many would-be homebuyers, the real estate market in the Sacramento region remains a challenge, with demand outstripping supply and lenders holding borrowers to tougher standards.
Those who try to buy an entry-level home without a good grasp of market conditions and lending rules are likely to grow frustrated and leave disappointed. That’s why the Sacramento Association of Realtors and the California Association of Realtors are hosting a homeownership fair on July 19. The event is meant to educate buyers about what to expect and how to have a better chance at success.
“Homebuyer education is key,” said Barbara LeBrecht, chairwoman of the Realtors’ Home Opportunity Committee and a broker with Langdon’s HomeBuyer’s Assistance Corp. in Gold River.
The free event includes workshops in English and Spanish on down payment assistance, credit repair and getting offers accepted. Wells Fargo, Chase and other lenders will participate. LeBrecht said there will also be barbecue and kids activities.
“It’s geared to be a family event,” LeBrecht said.
On the flip side, the U.S. Treasury Department and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are holding an event July 24 to help homeowners keep paying their mortgages.
The event will let homeowners see if they qualify for a variety of programs available through the federal Making Home Affordable program.
Though much improved since the dark days of the housing crisis, Sacramento still has plenty of families struggling to pay their mortgages every month, said Maya Newman, a spokeswoman with the Treasury Department.
“They’re unemployed, underemployed, underwater on their mortgages or have a medical hardship,” she said. The federal government has programs to address individual situations and help lower monthly mortgage payments, she said.
Homeowners should bring financial documents, including the last two years of tax returns, their monthly mortgage statements and recent pay stubs. For a complete list of documents and other information go to www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/sacramentoca.
Representatives from the California Housing Finance Agency, which administers state homeowner assistance programs, will take part in the event at the Sacramento Convention Center, Newman said.
Federal officials are holding a similar event in Riverside this month. Along with Sacramento, Southern California’s Inland Empire was one of the areas hardest hit in the housing crisis.
“We’ve seen that the housing recovery has made progress, but we still like to go to places where a lot of homeowners might be struggling,” Newman said.
Call The Bee’s Hudson Sangree, (916) 321-1191.