Business

Mortgage professionals guide buyers on paths to owning home

Brenda Colston and Membe Molla initiated the new weekly feature of the Public Policy Forum "Conversations with Al McFarlane" last week with their discussion of the roles they play in helping people become homeowners. Brenda Colston and Membe Molla initiated the new weekly feature of the Public Policy Forum "Conversations with Al McFarlane" last week with their discussion of the roles they play in helping people become homeowners.

Colston owns B & K Title a three-year old firm that now has two office locations and a staff of 10. Plans are underway for opening a third location, Colston said in an interview last Tuesday. A title company, Colston said, brings together all the players in the sale and purchase of a home. The title company works both independently, and on behalf of all parties involved, making sure all the paperwork is done properly, research completed, title ownership ascertained and transfer of ownership documents ready at the time of closing. Title companies receive and deliver checks from the buyer to the mortgage company and seller, and to the seller from the buyer and mortgage company that financed the sale of the property.

But before people get to the end phase of the home purchase process, said Molla, a lending officer for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, companies like Wells Fargo help purchasers think out and plan the purchase they are about to make. Too often, said Molla and Colston, who appeared at the Forum on behalf of the newly formed Cross Cultural Home Ownership Alliance (C.C.H.O.A – pronounced Chichoa) people think owning a home is out of their reach, or, something they should do later in life, rather than earlier.

C.C.H.O.A. members will participate in mini-interviews every Tuesday, seeking to dispel the myths that keep people from being homeowners. Credit worthiness is a place where a lot of our people have problems, they said. But with planning, preparation and discipline, almost any credit problem can be erased with time.

And the first Tuesday of each month, the entire program will focus on wealth creation and homeownership. The Multi Cultural Network of Real Estate Professionals will guide the development and programming of the Wealth Creation Series.

"Our aim is to support realtor professionals and consumers in a common goal of wealth creation for our community," said Al McFarlane Forum host. "The principle source of wealth creation in America is in home ownership equity. There are huge disparities in the rate of homeownership in the Black community compared to the White community. We see the problem as an opportunity. That is why we will champion the 50 by 30 Concept. That concept, developed from research conducted by the Roy Wilkins Institute at the Hubert Humphrey Public Affairs School at University of Minnesota, holds that our community should establish and embrace and public goal of having 50% of young Black men and women become home owners by the time they are 30-years-old. Insight and the Public Policy Forum, in conjunction with professionals and the industry, will seek to create a public consensus and strategies to support the concept," he said.

October 20, 2003
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CONVERSATiONS W/ AL MCFARLANE