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All an International Nurse Needs To Know About Buying a Home in the USA

We are alive. Hello everyone and welcome. It is Friday, which means it is time for our weekly show, onwards and upwards a show that everything that a global nurse needs to know about living and working in the United States. My name is Luciana da Silva, I'm your host.

Today, we have an amazing show for you. Today's topic is how to buy a home in the United States. It is the American dream. If you ask Americans what their American dream is, what their thoughts of the American dream is. So many will say it is buying a home. So we're going to be talking about that today. I want to start out with everybody in the chat. Please write in your name, say hello, let us know where you're from. We always love to see our viewers around the world and where they're living. I have let's see li Ling is from Trinidad and Tobago, Marcus a really else is giving us lots of hearts and saying hello to us all. We're so glad everybody is here to join us. I want to start off with first to say that you need to stay to the end of the show, we have an NCLEX raffle winner that we are going to be revealing for you, this person gets to actually go through an entire NCLEX course with us for free. We're gonna pay for it to make sure that you can get all of your licensing together in order to come to the United States. Let's get started. We have an awesome panel here for you today. Let's introduce our guests. Hello, everyone.


Hi, hi, everyone. And thank you for having me. Again. I'm Judy Lopez. And my husband is a Connetics nurse. And I'm Onboarding specialist for Connetics as well. And yeah, we arrived here in the US, October 2021. And we and we got our our first home here in the US in September 3020 22. So yeah, it's very exciting. And I want to inspire everyone that you know, to have your your dream home here in the US is really possible. So we're here to help you if you plan and if you wish to have your home here in the US. Thank you so much.

Welcome, Judy. Great to have you here. We also have as Swathi please introduce yourself to our viewers at home.

Yeah, sure. Well, my name is Aswathy Delena. You can go. You can call me Lena. My user journey started in the year 2020. Presently I'm working as a Connetics are advanced in adventhealth. As an RN, I joined in the year 920 20 as an RN in adventhealth, Florida. So since then, actually, before this, I was working into bias and RL until December 2018. And I'm thankful to the candidate to Connectix to help me and to support me in my journey essay or an in devotee, essay or in in in a USC. Thank you. Thank you so much.

So good to have you here. Let's introduce our two experts that we have on the show today to talk us through walk us through how to buy a home in the United States. Let's start off with Daniel pause

I'm Daniel Paz ,I've been a real estate agent California for 10 years specializes in helping first time buyers worked a lot with decency United States and love to make sure that everybody knows step by step exactly what the process is so they're fully aware and comfortable with everything that goes on through the process of buying a home I look forward to speaking with you guys.

Thank you so much Daniels okay if we call you Danny Danny pots full of piece for us here last but definitely not least we have Hugo groaning you go please introduce yourself

Hugo, can you hear us? It looks like you might be having some technical difficulties. He's he is with Mission Federal Credit Union and is a very, very successful and well known real estate agent.

Well, let's see who all we have watching with us today we have Richmond Ooh saying hello from the Philippines. de paz saying hello from Kuwait. We have Eileen from Riyadh. Marcus is loving Julie Lopez as well, Jean from Mumbai. So good to have everybody here. Let's get started. So I want to start with you as wealthy. Tell us a little bit more about your journey to the United States. What made you want to come and work? Oh, wait, let's go back. Hugo, can you hear us?

My name is Hugo Groaning. And I am a loan officer, a Mission Federal Credit Union. And I'm originally actually from Venezuela. So I can relate to a lot of you people, you know, a lot of people that they're connected right now and then try to come to the United States for an opportunity. And so that's something that is very special. And I can totally relate to this and be able to achieve the un par like what is considered the American dream. So, yeah, I've been in the business for over seven years already. And I feel very, very grateful to have the opportunity to help a lot of people to achieve the dream to become homeowners, from the very beginning to, you know, to the end process where they can actually, you know, receive them their their hands, their key by their realtor, in this case, somebody like Danny pause. So, but yeah, just want to let you guys know that and I look forward to sit with you guys through these. Today's presentation and hear all these amazing stories for Judy and Swati.

Welcome Hey, you got we got a Venezuelan in the house on Venezuela. All over the world. We have such an international crew here. So let's go. Let's track back just a little bit. Zlatni. Tell us about your journey. Why did you want to come to the United States and work as

Okay, the journey actually it we have registered to count on us in the year 2006 actually. But for some reasons the retrogression started and our paperwork stopped there. Actually, the even the green card was already passed and the red progression gate came and our journey was a halt in between. Then in 2016, I one of the Connetics nurses recruiting agency employee called me and said that the issue the the US paperwork can be forwarded now because you have the chance to come to us. So I was excited. Like, you know, after so many years, is it possible now, again, to go for the exams to pass the NCLEX I mean, to pass the eyelids and clicks everything and then I said okay, I will try. I asked my husband and he said, maybe it was God willing, we will try once. And as I went for the exams by God's grace with a past and CLECs eyelets and then 2020. January, Bill and I landed initially to us and my family followed me on the the following month. So that's how we raised us. Then initially, actually, we started living in an apartment. And after one year, we thought of buying a home. Like you said, it's everybody's dream, especially work for us in America or us. So we started dreaming a home after one year.

That sounds so amazing. Yeah, after being here a year you you and your family this let's do it has really loved it here as well. And it seems like you are God. Let's go to you for a moment. Tell us a little bit about your story. Your background. Why did you and your family want to come to the States?

Oh, yeah, um, it's almost same story as most To offer the Filipina o f W's. So my husband worked in Kuwait for 13 years in the Ministry of Health, and believe in the Philippines. So we've been separately living for seven years. So in 2016, I decided to join my husband. And eventually, we were able to get our kids and also they studied in Kuwait. So when they finished their senior high school, the opportunity for colleges University in Middle East is quite limited. And this is the time that my husband decided to take his NCLEX. And yeah, we pursue our American Dream that we had way, way, way back before. So yeah, and beautiful thing is becoming current. So we are really encouraged to, you know, to pursue our, our, my husband's application. And yeah, in nine months, we were able to get our visa your Connetics and now we're here in the US. So this, our journey is it's not only for the nurses, but for the whole family.

You said it right there, Judy, it's not just about the nurses, the family comes as well. And here Kinetix, we help our nurses with the EB three green card, which means that you and your family come to the United States to permanently live and work and fulfill all of your dreams and opportunities here in the United States. Let's talk about buying a home. Let's really get into it. Now. I'm gonna go to our realtor, Danny, tell us step by step. What is the overview process of buying a home?

Yeah, I think that we have an incredible group of people here. And I'm really, you know, grateful to be speaking with you guys. I don't know if we have the graphic ready. The roadmap to buying a home, Lucy, okay, great. I have it on my phone. So it's hard to see. But I'm gonna zoom it myself in here. So we start with the top right corner, if you can see this roadmap, it's a general overview of the home buying process. The first part says meet with a real estate professional. So that's what we're, you know, talking about today's real estate professionals is going to explain to you exactly what's going to happen throughout the process. Really great real Realtor will make sure you never actually have to ask what's going to happen next. Because you're going to know the process, they're going to keep you up to date and make sure that you're taking care of throughout the process. Now, the process, in the general view is we speak we hear about your goals, exactly what you're trying to achieve with your home, where you want to live, what kind of home you need, just in a general overview, then you will speak to someone like Hugo, who's a loan officer who will give us a price range of the home we should be looking for. Okay, that'll give us a you know, a target for the home, you should be buying based on what you'd like to afford, and also what you qualify for. Hugo, we'll talk about that a little more. Coming up. Now we're getting back to the graphic here. The next thing is we get to do one of the really fun parts, which is searching for home. So once we have that pre approval, we can go out and find the home. Now this process is kind of works in a couple of different ways. I will you know set up a search. And together we will identify homes that match what you're looking for. And at that point, I scheduled with the seller times for us to go look at these homes and and really see what works. Now something important is also to find out what you don't like about home so we can eliminate those types of homes. But it's really fun. We get to go see homes and figure out if it fits your family and your goals. That is the fun part, isn't it whenever you get to go home shopping and taking a look from place to place. Let me ask you go just to kind of go back to what Danny was saying in terms of approval. Many immigrants that are here in the United States. They're just getting their social security cards, maybe just opened a bank account starting to gain some credit there. Hugo, what do you see in your experiences whenever a family wants to get a loan for a home in the very beginning?

Gotcha. Luciana, thank you for the questions. A great question. And as Danny mentioned, it's very very important that you know before you go out There's shopping, it's very important to get approved, to be able to go out there and know exactly what's your range and what you can afford, because it's not necessary. And some don't want to touch base is necessary, what you could have what you can qualify for, because you can qualify for a lot more than what you would like to actually have and spend every month on your, on your mortgage. So something is very, very important is you want to have for credit, you want to have, you know, an average anywhere between, you know, a good credit score will be anything over 720. I don't know if anybody knows the ranges there. But, you know, usually typically you have, you know, anything above 620 to 720, you can find, you know, something, consider was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are the ones that they will provide, you know, accessibility to a 30 year fixed conventional loans. Now, I'll talk about more that later on. And the reason why mission is, is because it's important to try to have a good credit. And that can make a difference in your seat and significant difference in your monthly payment. So something you want to have typically three credit lines, three trend lines. And when you have three trend lines, you want to have them for at least a year. Now, for somebody that's coming with no credit history, there's other alternatives as well. And then the neutral, non traditional credit, trend lines. And in this case, you could use for instance, like have a cell phone bill that you have paid for a whole year. So if you can show that's been on your name, and you've been making payments, so as potentially electrical bill, or something that, you know, you've been showing up, you've been responsible about making those kinds of payments. So that is something that you could potentially start with. And, yeah, so then, then the reason why you want to be able to show something is because the you know, the banks don't know much about you in this moment, especially when you're starting. But they also understand that because you're starting from the very, very beginning, is that, you know, what will be the potential opportunities that you'll be able to utilize, in this case to be able to qualify for purchasing a home. So yes.

it's all about the opportunity. Right. Lena, tell us this, the home shopping that Danny was talking about? What was that experience like for you meeting your realtor and starting to look at places?

Well, yeah, that was really an experience against it. Because when we started thinking of a home to be we had few friends as creators, so we approached them. And they took us for home touring. And most of my offs were going for home Jews. So some of the homes we liked. And we gave the court and we don't know for what reason they were rejected. And some VA ourselves rejected, like we didn't like the home. So it was like, during the initial period, this home came into listing which we are living now. That was during the month of January or February, I think 2021 And we like this home, but the price was not affordable for us like that those days, the homes were a little bit costly. So we rejected and then we, like I told we we tried several homes, we toured several homes, but like maybe it was not for us. Then again, this room diamond this home came on the listing like that was I think in the month of April. And when we saw the price was down. So we said okay, we will try for this one. So we approached the realtor, I can say the realtor approached us and we gave the court Oh, and then it was accepted. So more than as our children were very happy. Like because they like this house very much.

Yeah. Are you still living in the home now?

Yeah, yeah. Right, you're right.

What about you, Judy, what was your experience? Like? You're on me. Here we go. Oh, there you go.

You're good. Okay. So for us because when we first arrived here in Memphis, we are living in apartment and the apartment prices is getting really expensive. So when we are about to finish our contract for a year, me and my husband decided to start shopping for her home, it was quite nervous because we are not that really long, staying here in Memphis, and we don't have, but the good thing is my husband has a good credit score. So we already built his credit score. And we had a chance to, to go to a local bank with the help of one of our PN a Philippine Nurses Association, and they help us in the introduce us. And the first thing that we did, Lucy is to get a pre approval. So pre approval is really depends on the income. So I asked my husband to get pre approved on for only for his salary. And, and the bank told us, we only have this amount based on the income. But if you want to find or to buy a house higher than that, you need to include the A we need to include my salary. So then we also asked the bank, how much should we pay in a month, if it is the total contract price about of our loan, and from there, we decided from which price of home should we buy? It really depends on is it should be within our budget. So that is the first concern. And then we started to look for a house and one of my advices is actually really look for a house. I mean, you really have to shop around until you finally find the one that is for you. So I think this house is our the seventh house that we viewed, and then we decided to get it. And it's a good thing. The plus point is it is a gated community. Yes, it's a bricks house. So it's an old community. This house is a 30 year old house. And we were able to meet the first owner. And it's very spacious. It has four bedrooms, and very spacious living room kitchen and dining. And we have two carpark garage. So we had a chance to invite everyone, especially during Christmas, as you see in the picture. So we invited also the other nurses, and also the Methodist team, and my daughter and my knees enjoy snow. You're in the USO. Yeah. And we're very happy. And we feel so blessed to be able to get a home here in the US. Thank you, Lucy.

So here in the United States, we have this saying it says Home is where the heart is. Yeah. And that's what you see right there in that photo that you just showed us of you and your family. There's so much love that happens in a home? And is this is absolutely wonderful. And you were saying that you looked at so many different homes before you found the right one? Danny, what is that usually, like in terms of some the family goes they find the home that they want, they get pre approved. And now everything just gets intense?

Well, it doesn't, you know, it seems that way. But the truth is, it's it's not as intense as people think it is. Going forward. The thing is, like Judy was talking about Nina was talking about sometimes it takes a while to find the right home. But the actual process from when you find the right home to when your offer gets accepted. And then from that point to when you close, and the home becomes yours and you get your keys, which is awesome, is really usually about 30 to 45 days. So it happens quite quickly. Once the you know, you do all that work up front, so that you're completely prepared when it's time to actually get home. The process is is sometimes seems complicated, but once you're doing it, as long as you're working with, you know, professionals, that process is actually pretty seamless. It's just to make sure like Judy was saying about and Lina was saying that the home is in the right price range in the right area and and that you're protected through the process. I think we're going to talk about that a little more later. Or I can go into it now about what happens to make sure the home is is is good is safe is has everything properly. Set up in the home.

What are some common errors do you see people making when they are looking for a home and buying a home?

Some common errors is is making sure they're completely pre approved before they start so making sure that they're looking in the right price range. So the it's very competitive to buy it I'm here in California, all over the United States and maybe all over the world. But here in Southern California, in California, in general, it's very competitive. So a seller, once they accept your offer is very much tied to you more than you are tied to them. So it's very important to them that they know that you are fully qualified, you're going to be able to close because they're going to choose an offer that they feel comfortable with. Because otherwise, it's very hard for them to pull out and then choose another buyer. However, as a buyer, you have many opportunities through the process, to withdraw your offer, if something happens during the process, or you find that there's an issue with the roof or something else, because we'll have an inspection, basically. But the point here is, the mistake would be to not be completely ready, because then you have a lot less better chance of actually getting your offer accepted, when there potentially are many offers, you know, here in Southern California, you know, buying a home is competitive, because I don't know how it is where everybody here is coming from, it's different in every country. But here buying a home is one of the most stable investments that you can make. Over time, although there are fluctuations in the market over time, in general, there's an upward mobility of the equity of your home. So you're, it's people all over the world, even people not moving here, invest in homes here, because it's such a stable investment. So like I said, it's very competitive. And you just want to make sure you're ready, so that your offer gets accepted. When you find the right place.

Hugo, Danny was talking about the process of getting pre approved. And before they can put an offer down on the home. Explain to us how this pre approval process works, what you recommend, perhaps some documents that are needed to listen.

Great. First of all, Danny, touch base is really really well and how important it is to get approved or pre approved before you go out there and shopping. And one of the things I've seen, seen people get their heart broken before for that specific reason. Because they don't think that they just think that they're going to start looking for homes, and they find a home that they really, really like. And I think they're not approved. And yeah, and sometimes the speed and then they find out things along the process of they were missing. So something that's very, very important is one is you do want to have your ducks in order. And this is how we started the first thing, it starts with an application, you want to put an application file, that way we can pull your credit, we can see the credit, and we can see in details. And a lot of times there's surprises there that buyers have no idea what is in their credit, you know, sometimes they think they have great credit, and they think they forgot about turning or paying a credit card or something. And next thing they're have a collection that didn't even know they had there. So it's really, really important to have the initial scope and visualization of what's in the credit report. Then after you have the credit report, the most important, you got to show income. So income is a very, very important variable. Because from there, they're going to be able to determine what is called your debt to income ratio, okay, depth to income ratio, just a very simple formula. And in this case, you know, people coming, you know, as nurses, they're going to have likely a salary income. So salary income is, you know, you're going to have your total amount of debt, monthly debt obligations divided by your total monthly income. That's how you calculate your ratios. And usually those ratios, you want to keep them below the 50% threshold. I mean, there's different programs like government programs like FHA, and some of them VA, but we're not going to touch much in details. If it's a yes, you could go sometimes higher. And that will be you know, depend on the lender. But just to keep it very, very simple. I'm just going to touch base on conventional loans. And conventional loans, they'll give you up to, you know, anywhere 48 to 50%. And this is going to be what is called desktop underwriter, it's going to determine the initial potential approval, so likely you want to come as eligible. And so for your income in this case, you will need 30 Day pay stubs and you will need a form that's called w two. So w choose for the last two years you want to have two year work history for to be able to prove show your income. Also, not always the case but the lender might request your tax returns. So having two years of tax returns or sometimes one So again, these He's going to be determined case by case once the application is submitted, and the credits actually pull now, so that will be the initial part. So it'll be your income. So income will be 30 Day pay stubs. Sometimes the last pay stub of the previous years if you receive bonus income or commissions or anything along those, you know, along the line when it's not always consistent with your salary. And then once you have your, you know, your income documents, you want to provide what is called assets, assets is money in the bank, okay? There's, you know, there's a lot of other programs new, there's programs out there that they can actually help you with your down payment and your closing costs. But in this case, your assets you want to show 60 days or two months of bank statements, okay? Those bank statements could be also your retirement assets. And we, you know, retirement assets could be determined a 401 K, Ira, those are different investment vehicles, that likely your employer will provide in many cases. So you want to show that you have, you know, you have money in the bank that you'd be able to put for your down payment, and your closing costs, also for potential obligations and potential reserves as well. So again, these will be determined, and it will be case by case once you submit your application. Also, each state is you know, they have different requirements depends of, you know, the loan limits that you're purchasing. And in a conventional, you know, could be to not reserve to sometimes they require for two months reserves. So I'll give a quick example, and this is, let's say that your monthly payment is $3,000. And this include what is called the principal the interest taxes and insurance. So if you have $3,000, and they're asking you to have two months reserves, in this case, we'd like to see, you know, the bank would like to see, after paying your closing costs, your down payment, you have $6,000 in the bank to be able to cover that requirement. So yeah, so these are the initial, the initial documentation that is required. And then yeah, and then the lender, as once the application submitted, that we'll start digging the under when this case, the underwriter, that's the one that ultimately will make the decision whether this person can be approved or not, we'll send a Nixon will send a list of updated documentation that's needed in order to to do the pre approval, if these pre approval is what is called underwritten approval, which is exactly what you want, you want to have an approval letter, there's other options that you can get a pre qual letter, and a pre qual letter is going to be based in 100% of the information that you submit into the application in contrast with your credit report. So the pencil, you know, you can go with it's called that free call or a d u letter, you know, so sometimes that can help you to get into the door when you put an offer. But ideally, you do want to get approved. And the reason again, is because when you go out there, you want to be ready, you might find this home that you have no idea you're gonna find the next thing you fall in love with it, you're like I really want to put an offer as soon as possible. So, yeah, so that's very, very important.

You were talking about, you know, having money to put down as a down payment. Lena, how did you and your family save for this down payment? You've obviously thought about this ahead of time,

right. So, we regret not knowing actually about this credit score center, because that was a new term whosoever is migrating from other places like middling we were in Middle East. So, we have opened bank accounts and we got the credit cards and our friends told that now you have to add up the credit points. So, we said what is that credit points. So, they said you have to pay the dues in time, whatever you are purchasing for and thus you were you will be adding up your credit points. So, yeah, so, like that, we added up the credit points and after one year, I think they said that it should be like around 700 or 720 About that is considered as a good credit point. So, we started looking each month that how much is our credit points. So that so then somebody told us no, you should not see month because you will see each each month then the credit points will go down or you said these are things that are new for us. Anyway, I think it was about 700 the credit points. And then we started like every month we will put our downpayment we saved some money and And like that after one year, we started looking for a house, although we couldn't afford because it was told us that 20 person we have to, we had to put a downpayment. But later on, we came to know that it's not necessarily that we had we have to put 20%, we can put 5% That also we can on the home like, although, if we are not putting 20% that there is some insurance like mortgage insurance, we have to pay additional. But with 5%, also we can order we can go forward for funding the hole. So like that. We did it. And by by depositing 5%, the strategy, we went forward for buying the hole. That's yeah, that's how the upgrade. Yeah. That's our story.

Yeah, that's so exciting. That is the American dream right there. And for you at home, we've tossed around these words, such as credit score, it's a big, big piece of the American society and how our economy works. To learn more about that, you can go to our website, at , click into the resources area, we have lots of videos, blogs, what is a credit score, how to build credit in the United States, so that you can get here and get completely prepared for your entire journey and everything that you want to buy and borrow money for. Because that is the beautiful thing about the United States that there is that support there to help you with that. I want to go to Judy, now, when you put the offer down on your home, what was that like for you? Um,

it's quite funny, Lizzie, because when we went to the bank to get a pre approval, I just realized that I didn't have any credit score, it's only my husband, because I've only just the extension of his credit card. So this is the only time I realized, Oh, I really need to build my credit as well, even we're, you know, we're a couple, then when we got our pre approval, because there's a certain amount the bank can give you, I mean, the loan officer will give you. So this does start when we look for a house within the budget within that amount. And the feeling is mixed, like you're nervous, you're excited, excited to see different houses. But then when it comes to the downpayment and the closing fee, just like what Lena said, we prepared for it, we see to it that we have enough, you know, fund in our bank, to pay the down payment. And as he, as you said earlier, you don't have to have 20% of downpayment because I was thinking if we're going to, you know, save 20% Of that amount, it took us a lot of years, and it's impossible for us to get a house as early as now. So we only got it 3.5% downpayment. And we also, we also pay for our closing fee. So we situated we have enough budget for that. And when we close our house, it's like all those sleepless nights looking for and searching for your house is over, we finally get the perfect place for us. And also another thing is that try to talk to people who've also been through to that experience. I mean, we visited a lot of Filipino families here also bought their house three years ago, five years ago on we got a very good advices from them, you're gonna get wisdom from these people. So I'm very thankful as well for their advices for the information they have given us. And also we're very lucky to have a very nice, real tour that we met through the process. And yeah, he helped us a lot to get our first home here in the US.

The realtors, the mortgage lenders, the family support, the community support, all of it goes into buying a home. And of course for all of our viewers out there. If you are a nurse or a health care worker who wants to come to the United States, and live your American dream, please go to our website and apply it's Our recruiters are waiting right now to speak with you to help you begin your journey of coming to the United States. Speaking of a journey, I want to get back to Danny here and your wonderful roadmap that you showed earlier. I really really love this graphic. It's a great road out to the show. Let's pull this up here. Now, Danny, where are we in this process? So go ahead.

Yeah, we we've, we've met, we've gotten pre approved, we've spoken to someone like Hugo to give us the price range, like Lena and Judy spoke about, and we've gone to search for homes, and that we found a home we love, we're going to make an offer. Now, the contract of making an offer it's called purchase agreement is it spells out the whole process in terms of what needs to happen in the time that you're from when you made the offer when you close that time period is called escrow. Now, escrow is there's an escrow company, that will is a third party company that makes sure the seller and the buyer are both accomplishing what needs to be accomplished throughout this process. So they're third party. Now what happens is, once we get an offer accepted, which is awesome, we have three days to put in a deposit deposit is a small amount of percent, you know, a very small percentage of the overall price that is just held in escrow to hold the home for you. Until you close that money goes towards your down payment, the three and a half or 5%, that Judy and Lena were speaking about. And it's held there. Now the thing is, we have three, what are called contingencies in this process, those are protections for you as the buyer to make sure the home is right. So the first one is called an inspection contingency. During that time period, which can be anywhere from a week to seven to two weeks, 17 days, for us to do any kind of inspection we would like about the home, typically you get a general inspector, that will look top to bottom, everything about the home will some of the most important parts are is the roof. Good is the foundation of the house good, and is the electrical and plumbing system good. That way you get to make sure everything is as it should be in that process. Now, once we have that information, we can either say, Okay, it's great, let's move forward. Or we can say there are some issues that we would like the seller to fix before we close on that load. Now at that point, it could be another negotiation, or they might give you some money towards the purchase so that you can make those repairs once the home is yours. So that's the first thing. So once we clear that, you know hurdle or step, the next part would be actually do the appraisal. So the bank, as you go to say, the bank wants to make sure the home is worth what you're paying for it. Because if the home is worth less than that, that is their collateral. They're what they have at stake if the loan is not paid for, right, so they want to make sure the home is worth what you're paying for it. And it's a protection for you to make sure you're not overpaying for the loan. So once the appraisal is in, and they say yes, the home is worth that much, we get to the last step, which is the point where the loan actually gets fully approved and sent in at that point, we release all our contingencies protections because we're confident that we're moving forward to close the home. And that's the fun part. You start ordering. I don't know furniture, whatever you want, registering for schools, and anything else that will happen in that area. But that at that point, five days before we close, if there were supposed to be any repairs, you get to make sure that that was all completed. And then a few days later, I'll show up with your keys and help you with anything else you need. Moving in and going forward. Now I wanted to make sure that we talked about something Lina Judy, both talking about the process of buying that home. Here's the thing, the first home you buy is the hardest because you need to save up that money and build up your credit. However, in the future, you will be able to use the home that you originally bought and the money that you built up in that home to buy. Usually a bigger, nicer home in the future. Because the first one is the hardest. You need to save up that money in your bank. But as you pay your monthly payments for your home, that money builds up in what's called the equity of your home. Right and you get to now use that money you don't have to save it up in the bank every month. you're already paying into your bank your vote.

That's an amazing piece of advice. And it's really interesting how the whole process works. And I'll say that my family is Brazilian and in Brazil, we love to negotiate. It's like the thing. And I know that that's something all over the world that everybody likes to go back and forth, even in the market to try to negotiate pricing. Hugo, do you see that a lot from your end? From the lenders perspective? You know, what that's like, when everybody's going back and forth?

Yeah, no. And that's, that's a great observation and question as well. Yes, we do see, a lot of times, you know, and this is a recommendation, we always recommend people to get approved for a higher amount of, you know, to get approved for the highest amount they would consider even going, especially, you know, the reason I'm gonna explain is in, we're not seeing as much anymore, because the market has significantly shift from what it was a year to two years ago, or even a month ago, where it seems that the market was considered more into, like a seller's market, where the sellers, there were more people buying homes than actually selling homes, so then that created a really, really big demand for people out there. And that pushed prices significantly higher, and a lot of places. So what would happen is in doing the negotiation, you know, a home might have three, four or five different offers, and the seller agents will, you know, and the seller will counter and be, say like something like, Hey, you know, best offer out there, you know, submit your best offer. And this is not necessarily submit with the highest value that you're considering buying the home. But obviously, that helps. There's older conditions, as Danny mentioned, what's your call, consider contingencies. And contingencies are your, you know, your lines of defense, if you want to pull out of the transaction. So there's the appraisal contingency, which is whether the value of the property hit and, you know, and in this case, if you're satisfied after you get the report from the property, and the other one is the loan contingency, there's also inspection contingency, but here showing the timelines or those contingencies, or sometimes even remove it, which I don't, I'm not gonna, you know, I can't tell you whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, this is something a conversation that, you know, anybody potentially looking to purchase a home that you have with a realtor, in this case, somebody like Danny, that should be able to advise a lot better whether, you know, based on whether the conditions of the property are as good as they want to be, and other variables as like, you know, they really, really want their home and they have all the ducks in a row, it might make sense. But, you know, by removing these contingencies, that gives the seller, a much more sense of trust, that these transaction and the buyer really, really wants these home. So in that case, that could actually look better than somebody that raises their purchase price. Their, you know, their offer, because in this case, he seems like it's going to be a more secure transaction. And we'll have a lot easier times to clubs, which sometimes closing time, you know, traditionally here in the US is mostly 30 to 45 days, that's mostly an average, but somebody that shortens down the transaction, then that could also offer much more strength in that specific offer. So when you're talking about negotiation that comes into play, so yes, there's a lot of times where negotiation is very, very important and having a strategy is absolutely a must. And that's something that you know, Danny can also talk more about, you know, about the type of how the offer can look stronger on the you know, when negotiating in the portion of, you know, of putting an offer so,



yeah, that's this 30 to 45 days there seem like that's probably maybe the most fun parts there's you guys were talking about all these these checkboxes that need to happen before the family can actually close on the house. You talked about the inspection I will say that that is such an important piece because if you find something wrong, then the owner of the home will pay to have it fixed depending on what it is. And that's a very, very important piece to that puzzle to make sure that you're getting the best value. Lena What was your experience like during that escrow period during those 30 days, 45 days.

Frankly, speaking, like those days were like days of tension, very stress and or because this is the first time for you. You are in a new place where most of the terms are new for you. Like what you said escrow the The assessment, the inspection, you know, I send us I know how to assess a patient, but what is this assessment of those things in our life. Then I used to ask my husband, what is what is What do you mean by this? He's also like he said, I also don't like you in this place. So for everything, we used to approach our Realtors, our friends that are community members, and they used to explain us. So every time when we used to call them, we used to say, I'm sorry, I have one more doubt, like what is this? So, yeah, so I think with some some of the films we have to know about before I think buying a house like these are the terms which are new for us, and we should come across like, we should know about these things like what is escrow, what is inspection, what is assessment, and how to improve our credit scores, these are very important before you buy a home, like we should, we should know about these things. So when our court was accepted, we give, the next thing was about the loan, whether the loan will be like approved or not. So our realtor gave us a few choices for the loan company. And I think for the insurance also, they have few choices. So when the loan was approved, then was thankfully it was approved, it was approved, I can say because there are instances for some people where the loan itself is not approved. And they have to, you know, they have to lead the plan in between. So after that, the the thing was for the insurance, so what are things what all insurances we have to take, because as we have the downpayment, we have put only 5%. So the insurance is like they say about mortgage insurance, also, we have to take we were not knowing about these things. So mortgage insurer insurance on top of that mortgage insurance, okay. And after that, the escrow so Escrow is something like a deal, which is managed, they collect the property taxes, the insurance premiums and all for the legal agreement, it seems, before buying a home itself, we have to know that there are some additional costs also, which are included, like the taxes in some community, the community development prices, like CDD, then the HOA, then the utilities, the electricity bill, those things also we have to consider while buying a house. So it's not the morally the mortgage. I mean, mortgage payment we have to do, but also these additional costs. Also, we have to keep in mind, so we have to invest some money. I mean, we have to keep a part some money for these things. Also, before, I mean, starting our program, like we'd before we start planning of planning the house. So these are things actually these are new, as Danny said about a for the person who buys a home initially, this all things are new, it's a it's a stressful that person, not only for that person, the whole family, it's a stressful period, on that 30 to 45 days. But yeah, thankfully, by God's grace, they come across that period. And now when we see that we are the home honors of this beautiful house, we thank God and for all those who supported us for this like, gave us advices and their guidance really that that makes a difference. You know,

You have such a beautiful home, they're in Florida with the palm tree. It seems like you're living in paradise over there.

That's not a stock photo. That's your actual home?

beautiful, you know, then it's like you said Lena, it can be a stressful time to be filled with emotions, you're happy, you're nervous, you don't know what to expect. But then that day comes when your realtor like Danny said, shows up at your door and has the key to the house. And hey, this is yours, Judy, what did that feel like?

Oh, we're so happy. I mean, it's filament for the whole family. I mean, we first got our home way in the Philippines. But you're in the US to have a house in the US, I felt like we started our American dream. And that is what we wanted to have a roof over over my head. I mean, and you know the good thing about getting a home, comparing to renting an apartment, we only have like, we only add 100 every month from our apartment payment to our mortgage payment. So it feels like this is ours. And like when you are paying for your apartment

I think that yeah. Can you hear me? You see, yes, you're back. Okay, I'm back. So as I said, Lucy, like, compared to our apartment and to our mortgage, I only added like 100 to $200 a month, can you imagine and apartment you cannot, it become it will not become yours. I mean, compared to a house, it's a kind of fulfillment for the whole family. So we never regret to buy a home.

A lot of people will see that, that having an apartment is just going like this with your money whenever you can, you know, save the save up, get the credit, and then actually buy a home and now you're paying towards something for yourself. And gaining that equity. Like Danny and Hugo, were talking about that equity meaning that your the value of your home, the price of your home goes up what you can sell your home for in the future also increases. I'm seeing that we're running out of time here. I've no idea how that happened. I want to get just a few last words from everybody here. Danny, if you could give one piece of advice to any immigrant family, who here in the United States, looking for their American Dream looking for a home? What piece of advice can you give them?

I'll give them a couple of pieces of advice. Make sure you speak to someone who will explain the whole process in detail. So that way you don't have the anxiety. Also, relax. Take your time, don't feel under pressure to do it before you're ready. However, as Judy said, every month you're always paying someone's mortgage. The question is, Are you paying the mortgage of your landlord who you're paying rent suit? Are you paying your own? So the sooner you can do it comfortably you should but take your time, don't feel pressured? Make sure you know what's going into it. You've done your research and you have someone really good advising you through the process.

Thank you, Danny, what about you, Hugo? Last advice of any immigrant family looking for a home here?

Okay, yeah, and as Danny mentioned, you want to eat, you know, once you want to be calm, okay, be calm, speak with professionals. Okay, each state is different as well. So it's really, really important that you speak with, you know, in this case, mortgage professionals and realtor professionals that they can actually explain the, you know, the different ways of how the process will go in your state. So that's important. Also, there's a lot of tax benefits that we didn't really touch bases. I'm not a tax professional myself. But there's also a lot of benefits that you can look into, that could benefit you when you purchase a home. So as Danny said, He's Are you paying somebody else's mortgage, or you're going to be paid your own mortgage, and you're gonna be able to build your own equity. So those are, those are a couple things. The other thing too is, and a lot of people the moment they realize that they have credit, and they can buy things, if you're really considering buying a home, try to minimize those purchases, at least onto you purchase your home. Okay, and the reason why is because you know, if you buy a car before you buy a home, that can significantly deplete you for the potential to be able to qualify for the purchase price that you're trying to go for. Sometimes waiting on that really nice car that you want to buy, it's, it's more important to just wait until after you actually purchase your home. Okay, so that's something very, very important to remember. The other thing too, is keep your credit in tech, like monitor your credit very, very often make sure that there's no accounts lingering around, because that's really, it's something that they're going to be looking at and sometimes takes years to potentially even fix your credit. So that's really, really important. The other thing too, is saving money. You don't need a tons of money. There's even programs right now and to up to even loan amounts of 726,200, then you can come up with 3% down. Okay, 3% down. And yeah, a lot of people don't really know that. But with very, very little money, you could actually buy a home and also there's other state programs and also federal programs that can potentially help you with a down payment and the closing cost, which ideally I want to say a closing costs, you know, anywhere between one to 2% of the loan amount is kind of like a way to estimate but those are numbers that they're important for people to turn Looking save some money. And other than that, have fun, really have fun because this is the only time that you'd be able to actually go out there and buy the home of your dreams. So without say thank you for having me here and good luck out there. Everybody.

Have fun? Absolutely. Lena really quick, what is your final piece of advice to anybody looking for a home?

Yeah. That as early I said, like, before buying a home, we should know certain things, certain things like we should keep some money. That's, that's for sure. And we should know that additional cost also the cost of the taxes which we have to pay additional the daily costs, I mean, sorry, not the daily the monthly cost of the mortgage plus the additional costs those things we have to keep in mind. And next thing What other advice which I want to give is you why'd you have some needs? So put forward the needs to your realtor? Like, what if, for me, like the priority was my children, our children were like in the high school, so shouldn't be a good school should be focused more on a good grade at school, then the commute from how house to hospital the distance, then the proximity to the necessary like necessities like what we have for the grocery, the what the supermarket. And so those few things we have to keep in mind while while like the buying a good home, like the community should be, we should check the community before that. And then we should keep the money we should that take care of the additional cost. And if we like if we are prepared for all these things, then I think it's not a big deal. Though for the for the first time. It is stressful. I won't say that it starts stressful. It is stressful. But you can go through it. If you are prepared before like beforehand, that it's an early thing.

Is it possible and happy and such?

Houses yours? Of course yeah, you will be you will be happy even thank God.

Dancing an empty living room, it's up to you tear down a wall doesn't matter. It's yours. Judy, what is your final piece of advice?

Yeah, my advice is first look for a place that is very accessible to everything. And also if you can find a home, of course, it's very necessity to find a place, which is very safe for the family. And also within your budget. Buying a home shouldn't be a financial burden. You have to find a home that you can pay without breaking your bank, you know. So that's my piece of advice. And for sure, once you have your home, you will feel more confident to build your finances here in the US and starting your your equity as their as Daini. And as as that I say they talking about so it's really a rewarding part of your journey here in the US.

Thank you. It's such a rewarding part of my week, my month, my year is being able to speak with all of you about this wonderful topic. We are so thankful and happy that the four of you were able to join us today. Thank you so much for your time. Of course you at home if you would like to live and work in the United States. Our recruiters are ready to help you out, go to And we'll be right there to help you and start your journey to the United States. Thank you everybody. I want to touch base now and to talk about our future shows that we have coming up. We next week are going to be doing our immigration q&a with the wonderful immigration lawyers. It's your chance to ask immigration questions to the top lawyers in the country about how to come to the United States. February 10. We're going to be doing spousal support this the second part of our segments on how to support your spouse who's coming to the United States with you and your family. On the 24th we're gonna be doing a client showcase with one of our premier health care facilities adventhealth followed by a stateside show about Texas God bless Texas. We're gonna be talking about that on March the third on the 10th that next gen NCLEX exam is coming up in April. Everything He's going to change on this exam. So we're going to have some experts here to talk about all those changes and give you some advice on March 17. It's a lucky day St. Patrick's Day. Let's talk more about money budgeting, what do you need to come to the United States? What are your startup costs? And let's make that a successful journey for you. So we'll bring in some experts there, followed by another client showcase, and another immigration question and answer on the 31st. Don't forget about our love for a talk show. That happens once a month, February the 14th. That is Valentine's Day here. That is the date of love. So we are going to be doing a game show love in the USA on the love for a talk show. And the very following month. Once again, getting close to that new Next Generation NCLEX exam, we're going to talk to heroes who have passed the exam and are living their American dreams. One more thing, we have our NCLEX raffle winner drumroll please. Who is our NCLEX raffle winner we have Abigail ashy. Yay, welcome. There's so amazing. We're going to help you pass your NCLEX exam put you in that course and make you successful. Thank you so much, everybody again for joining us and like we always say, onwards and upwards. Have a great weekend, everybody. Hang on everyone.

Bye everybody. Bye