Business

Trusted Advisor Network: Advisors find joy in helping people realize dream of owning their own home

McFarlane: What do you say to guide people towards homeownership?

Membe Molla: The Cross Cultural Homeownership Alliance (CCHOA) is a group of real estate professionals – realtors, mortgage bankers, title companies, appraisers and home inspectors in collaboration educating people of color about becoming homeowners. McFarlane: What do you say to guide people towards homeownership?

Membe Molla: The Cross Cultural Homeownership Alliance (CCHOA) is a group of real estate professionals – realtors, mortgage bankers, title companies, appraisers and home inspectors in collaboration educating people of color about becoming homeowners. My role is to assist people who are looking to purchase by educating them about credit and savings. Credit is really important. Most people in our community don’t quite realize how important credit is. Purchasing a home depends on your credit, your savings and of course your employment.

McFarlane: It’s never too late. You can start where you are. Your credit history can be the worst. It is a question of knowledge and planning. Let’s give a for instance. What if somebody does have a bunch of credit cards and has fallen behind on payments. Maybe the person has a judgement. Is that person forever locking himself or herself out of buying a house?

Molla: No they aren’t. As home mortgage consultants at Wells Fargo, part of our job is to consult people through reviewing their credit and helping them schedule paying off some debts. Some people think their credit is worse than it actually is. We get them to either attend the homebuyer seminars and learn about home ownership.

McFarlane: How long have you’ve been doing this kind of work?

Molla: I have been doing this with Wells Fargo seven years. Prior to that I worked for a different company. All together I’ve been doing mortgage banking for twelve years. It’s really gratifying. One of the things I enjoy doing is actually helping people who believe they couldn’t own a home become homeowners. The fact that somebody actually comes in thinking I can’t do it and for me to be able to help them become homeowners with some of the programs that Wells Fargo offers is actually gratifying.

McFarlane: Brenda Colston, you are president of KL Title Inc. How does your line of work figure into home ownership and wealth creation?

Brenda Colston: The title company is the end portion of home buying. We write the checks, pass out the keys, and sign all the documents. KL Title has been in existence for almost three years. I have been in the industry since 1986. We are the only African American title company in the state of Minnesota. We crossed the threshold that hasn’t been crossed here before. Most lenders will not allow the banks themselves to sign and notarize the documents and pass out the money. So our part is very important. Even before we get to that part, there is research involved.

We go to the county and do title searches. We go to the tax departments and check for judgments and liens. All of those things are part of the qualifying process. Companies such as mortgage lenders would contact us and say, "Joe Smith wants to buy this home. I need you to do a records search on the property and the it’s all part of the qualifying process. We complete the report. We send it back to the mortgage company.

We tell buyers and sellers in order to close this loan and insure it "you must take care of this, this, and this. We need this document and that document signed so the lender says ‘okay we will do the loan.’ We bring the buyers and the sellers together with the mortgage people, the realtors. They all meet at our office and we get the documents signed and notarized. We are licensed and insured. We are a reputable company.

Molla: CCHOA stands for Cross Cultural Home Ownership Alliance.

November 5, 2003
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CONVERSATiONS W/ AL MCFARLANE