Will Latinos Lead a Real Estate Recovery?

Latinos real estate recoveryLike many aspiring home buyers, Gil Lopez, 29, is striving to find the right neighborhood for his young family. His bank has qualified him for a loan large enough to buy a $300,000 home, but he has set his own price cap firmly at $230,000 as he searches through north San Diego County. Affordability is his mantra, having had a front row seat to the the darkest hours of the housing crash. Both his parents and his sister's family lost their homes to short sale and foreclosure, and now live in an apartment rental with "only one bathroom."

Yet Lopez escaped the crisis relatively unscathed and has spent the last few years building his credit and his education. Today, he works as an investigator for the district attorney's office. His wife is in school and works part-time, and they both take care of their 3-year-old daughter. The combination of housing affordability, low interest rates, life stage and ambition for building a nest egg have come together to lure Lopez into the housing market this summer.

Finding the right house is not easy. The inventory in the northern San Diego area bears the scars of neglect from foreclosures -- dead lawns, peeling paint, crime -- but that isn't deterring Lopez. He has saved $7,000 for a minimum 3 percent down payment, and is ready to take advantage of home prices that are down as much as $100,000 from the market peak.

"We are ready as a family to take it to next level and own," says Lopez. "You work hard for what you want and then you get it."

For the full story, see Daily Finance.

Also see:
Realtors' Latest Challenge: A Surge of Squatters

How to Buy Foreclosures
VIDEO: All About Short Sales

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