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Let’s be honest—it’s a tough market for originators, especially with interest rates at their highest level in decades. But if you’re passionate about serving your customers—especially first-time homebuyers—now is not the time to throw in the towel.

Yes, rates are higher and home inventories are tight in many markets. But many people still yearn to own their own home, and even with higher rates, buying is still cheaper than renting in many markets.

All you need to increase homebuyer opportunities is the right plan and the right resources. Here are three of the best strategies you can start using today.

First, You Must Put Buyers First

Until spring of 2022, rates have been so low for so long that it can be difficult to get out of the refi mindset. Of course, there are still reasons why some homeowners need to refinance, and there is still life in home equity lending, too. In fact, many correspondent lenders have moved away from straight refis to cash-out refis and HELOCs to help borrowers who want to pay off bills or renovate their homes.

But these products don’t offer nearly the same returns as purchase loans, which is why you’re always better off prioritizing homebuyers over refi opportunities.

For one, buying a home is inherently a more emotional experience, so the lender that helps someone into a home creates a strong bond that often results in a client for life. Secondly, helping a buyer overcome the odds and get into a home equates to repeat business and referrals for you—not just from your client, but from real estate agents and your other business partners, too.

Focus on Millennials and Minorities

Another factor to consider is the demographics of today’s homebuyers. By sheer numbers, Millennials now comprise the largest group of American adults, and most of them are in their 30s—prime home buying age.

A larger proportion of Millennials are also people of color. In fact, the Latino homeownership rate increased from 47.5% to 48.4 percent between 2019 and 2021, according to the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP).   

If you want to attract more homebuyers, start focusing your marketing efforts on Millennials and particularly Black and Hispanic borrowers, many of whom have been historically shut out of homeownership. And if you’re serious about helping underserved borrowers, there are resources available to help them finally achieve their dream.  

Why down payment assistance is Indispensable

No doubt, today’s homebuyers are struggling against challenging odds. If you hope to help as many of them as you can, you should be providing them with information on down payment assistance programs and down payment assistance grants, generally referred to as DPA.

By far the biggest obstacle to young people looking to buy their first home is coming up with enough money for a down payment. And it’s particularly hard for minority borrowers, whose families typically lack the same level of household wealth as white borrowers.

Fortunately, there are many homebuyer assistance programs available to first-time borrowers. That includes CBC Mortgage Agency’s down payment assistance program Chenoa Fund, which provides down payment assistance to qualified, creditworthy borrowers. Over the years, this program has helped thousands of borrowers unlock the doors to homeownership and start building financial wealth through home equity.At CBC Mortgage Agency we believe everyone should have access to affordable housing. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your clients overcome their homeownership hurdles—even in a tough market—let us know. Just reach out to us 866-563-3507 or drop us a note to info@chenoafund.org.

CBC Mortgage Agency™ – NMLS 1186381

For licensing information, go to www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org.

Illinois Residential Mortgage License #MB.6761292. Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Banking, 100 West Randolph, 9th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601 – 1-888-473-4858. Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License # 1186381

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3 Ways to Increase Homebuyer Opportunities | CBC Mortgage Agency3 Ways to Increase Homebuyer Opportunities | CBC Mortgage Agency