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City of Killeen to host first-time homebuyers course in Spanish

Posted at 8:51 PM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 21:52:29-04

The City of Killeen is offering a first-time home buyer's course in Spanish. The program is aligning with Hispanic Heritage Month, with the goal of addressing the needs of Spanish speakers in Killeen.

Navigating through the home buying process can be a lot to take in especially with all that legal jargon, even if English is your first language. It can be even more of a challenge if English is not your first language.

Myrna Malic-Banzon a loan officer said, "There's a lot of Spanish-speaking buyers that are kind of scared because they don't understand."

Malic-Banzon said, when you purchase a home in the US, all of the documentation is in English. When you're translating legal documents there is no room for error. Having Hispanic clients herself as a loan officer, Malic-Banzon has helped in-house specifically for Spanish-speaking clients.

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"I've trained her to understand the legal jargon so she can explain it appropriately," said Malic-Banzon.

Malic-Banzon said she has spent hours with her assistant who is a native Spanish speaker, to make sure there is no lapse in translation when she is working with Spanish-speaking clients.

Cinda Hayward, with the City of Killeen's Community Development Department, said, "So if you don't understand what you're signing, and you can't read it and understand it, then there's going to be problems. Most places are charging anywhere from $50 to $100 for this information, and we're doing this for free. So it's great."

Hayward says this program is intended to break down the Home Buyer Assistance Manual and prepare future homeowners with first-hand information in their native tongue.

"All in Spanish answers questions. Everyone speaks in Spanish. So it's very comfortable for persons who would rather speak in a native language opposed to English," said Hayward. "We have a lot of Spanish speakers, and we thought we would try and get some interest to see if they are interested in just knowing the process and then participating in the first-time Home Buyer Assistance Program."

Hayward believes this program is the best way to prevent any misinformation when it comes to the home buying process. There will also be a mortgage loan officer and a community development employee to conduct the 5-hour Zoom course.

"We just want to make sure that everyone that owns a home here is happy and it's a healthy environment, and it's safe," said Hayward.

Hayward the city is always trying to meet the needs of the community so if you would like to see this program in another language, she encourages you to reach out.

The program will be held on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 8:00 a.m. For more information click here.