Owning a home is a central part of the American Dream, and some veterans turned real estate agents are planning a free homebuyer seminar at York College to help those who protect that dream afford homes of their own.
Victor Lopez of real estate firm Keller Williams Realty Landmark II and H. Roy Bhiro of mortgage broker PrimeLending, both of whom are veterans, will join real estate attorney Ryan Walsh to host the event on April 4 at 1 p.m.
The event seeks to provide veterans looking to buy a home with benefits available to them, such as how to qualify for a grant up to $15,000 for a down payment or how to get 100 percent financing for a mortgage and closing costs.
“This event will provide veterans with valuable information regarding the various loan products and forgivable grants being offered,” Walsh said. “I believe that providing much education to the public is vital so that no homebuyer is taken advantage of.”
The Queens Chamber of Commerce and the Neighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica are sponsoring the event. First-time homebuyers who are not veterans are also encouraged to attend, because there will be valuable information for them as well, such as an explanation of the entire homebuying process and pitfalls to avoid.
But veterans will receive special assistance at the event, such as assistance to apply for and acquire the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Certificate of Eligibility, which verifies that they are able to get a VA-backed loan.
Bhiro said because the VA doesn’t set aside enough money to educate veterans about homeownership, many veterans are misinformed about their benefits.
Veterans will also be able to ask the experts at the event about their concerns and clear up any worries they may have.
“We are veterans ourselves, and we feel that the veteran community is being underserved,” Lopez said. “I think there isn’t enough information and I think it there is a lot of misleading and wrong information. I want to point people in the right direction. If they are open-minded to different areas and what they are able to afford, then we can definitely help them.”
The event is free, but registration is required. To register for the event click here or call Bhiro at 631-391-6457.