Elena and Mateo are ready to move forward in their home-buying journey. They did their research and are now excited to work with María, a real estate agent who is a REALTOR®., a member of the National Association of REALTORS®.

Having a REALTOR® is a bit like having their own lucha libre trainer in the ring. María will help them navigate the intricate real estate market, offer valuable advice on homebuying, negotiate deals when it’s time to make an offer, handle their paperwork correctly, and mitigate potential hurdles or setbacks such as repairs or financing. What a relief!

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María can also tap into her personal network of trusted confidants, like mortgage lenders and home inspectors, to find Elena and Mateo reliable connections throughout the entire home buying process and even after it too! Agents who are REALTORS® are like that tía who has all the good connections.

Thanks to María, Elena and Mateo understand that the value of a home isn’t just about the house itself. Other factors like location, home upgrades and sustainable features, taxes, and sale prices of other comparable homes in the neighborhood also come into play.

Let’s see how REALTOR® María can help Elena and Mateo gather their paperwork to figure out their purchasing power. 


1. The Proof is in the Salsa: As potential home buyers, Elena and Mateo need to show their proof-of-income to a lender in order to prove they are capable of affording the home – including money for the down payment, typically 6-7% for first-time buyers, and closing costs, which can vary but in general range from 2-5% of the home’s purchase price.  

Examples of proof-of-income can include but are not limited to:

    • Recent pay stubs 
    • Tax return documents for the last two years
    • A bank or investment account statement

2. Y El Ex-Credit History?In order for Elena and Mateo to get a loan, lenders will pull  their credit report to see their credit score as well as if there are any suspicious financial behaviors. When buying a home, a good credit score can help Elena and Mateo secure a mortgage loan more easily, often with lower interest rates which can save them thousands of dollars. But if their credit score is too low, the lender may offer a couple of solutions such as an FHA loan, suggest a co-signer, push for a larger down payment, or even suggest ways Elena and Mateo can improve their credit score -although this will take some time. 

María will then use her expertise to help them work with their lender to verify that everything checks out – just like how their parents always checked out the friends they brought home growing up, porque dime con quién andas y te diré quien eres!

3. Becoming Los Pre-Approved: When getting pre-approved, the lender will verify Elena and Mateo’s financial information by checking their credit report, tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, etc. Elena and Mateo will have an idea of what they can afford, and will be able to show sellers that they are serious buyers who are mortgage ready. This feels like when Mateo had to be pre-approved by las tías before meeting Elena’s parents. Luckily for Elena and Mateo, María gave them suggestions of who to contact to begin that process because believe it or not THIS is an imperative piece of the process and just like a home, one must start with a solid foundation.

4. The Best Chismes are About Financial Assistance: Now let’s spill the tea on loan programs, as they each can have different requirements and benefits. Everything from first-time home buyer programs, aka FHA loans that offer a low down payment option, to local grant assistance programs that may assist with a down payment, or VA loans, if you’re a veteran, as well as others.  

5. Aguas! There are Additional Expenses: Homeownership comes with costs beyond the mortgage payment – such as property taxes, homeowners insurance, and maintenance costs. A REALTOR®, like María, has the expertise to share this vital information with Elena and Mateo. She can gather estimated costs of homes they like including energy and utility costs, HOA fees, and property taxes so they can factor these into their budget and not get blindsided later on! 

To make things easier, Mateo and Elena know they can use SUMA’s Ultimate Goal Tracker Tool to help them stick to their budget.

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Already know what your money goal is? Great! Time to start using SUMA’s goal-saving calculator. First, enter the amount of savings you have now and the estimated interest rate your savings will accrue. To map out the rest of your savings journey, write a name for your goal, the dollar amount you are saving up to, the final date you want to save by, and you are all set. The Goooal! Tracker will do the rest of the work for you and tell you how much money you need to save a month!

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Elena and Mateo already have a newfound confidence in this home-buying process thanks to María. In fact, REALTORS® are more than ethical experts. They are deeply ingrained into their community and have an understanding on what matters to firsttime homebuyers. 

With María by their side, Elena and Mateo are on their way to making an informed and successful investment that will build equity and possibly benefit their family for generations to come. Ay, the suspense! Grab a pan dulce and cafecito and tune in for the exciting conclusion.

REALTORS® are members of the National Association of REALTORS®


Part 3

Article + Video 

Includes the final steps of the home buying process!

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Part 1

Article + Video 

Includes SUMA’s Home Rent vs Buy Calculator