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STEPS Toward Homeownership

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The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® STEPS Toward Homeownership addresses housing affordability from the perspective of financial literacy. Did you know over half of all renters in California thought you needed at least 20% down to purchase a home? The reality is there are programs available that enable a purchase with much lower down payments.  This program brings relevant information to our members about credit scores, financial planning, leveraging down payment resources and options for low to moderate income earners so that we can educate our buyers. The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® supports RESPONSIBLE Homeownership. 



Where we’re STEPPIN’ to next:

STEPS Toward Homeownership virtually throughout CA

Date: December 6th, 2023
Time: 10 am - 12:45 pm
Location: Virtual Event


Financing the Dream of Homeownership





The STEPS Toward Homeownership program has been reduced from an all day event into digestible sections providing resources for REALTORS® to educate renters, prospective first-time home buyers, clients who have had a prior foreclosure or short sale, and Baby Boomers interested in helping their children or grandchildren become responsible homeowners. Experts will share philosophies on:

  • Strategies for Financial Health
  • Trends in the Economic Environment
  • Engaging in the Process
  • Products for Success
  • Support from Beginning to End

What's in it for me?

Attendees will acquire financial literacy knowledge and strategies to bolster your referral pipelines in the local community and help prospective buyers with financing expectations, down payment assistant options, and FHA vs. conventional loan programs. In addition, we have focused on the REALTOR® view as well, to give reasonable understanding of how to stay involved, without taking on additional roles.



We would like to thank our Sponsors: ***

Freddie Mac Logo

Guild Mortgage Logo


California Housing Finance Agency



Why Homeownership Matters & Overview of Today's Event - 10:00 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.

  • Economic Overview of the Market Today
    • Mortgage Market (Interest Rates)
    • Buyer/Seller Markets
    • What Does it Take to Compete

REALTOR® Resource Guide 2023 - 10:20 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Understanding Homeowner Needs, Setting Expectations & Building the Winning Team - 10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

  • Understanding & Communicating with Prospective Homebuyers
  • Success in Today's Market
  • True Cost of Homeownership
  • Set Expectations for Contacts, Timing, Loan Terms & Qualifications
    • FICO / Credit
    • Lending Materials Needed
    • Budget Preparedness/True Cost of Homeownership
    • Who are Your Partners - Lenders, Title, HUD Counselors & Escrow
    • Homebuyer Readiness Education

Financing the Deal - Putting it all Together - 10:45 a.m. - 11:25 a.m.

  • Different Levels of Knowledge with Available Products
  • Setting Expectations & Timelines
  • What's Changing with Loan Programs & Limits
  • Multi-Family vs. 2-4 unit Lending
  • Renovation & Construction Lending Uses
  • ADU's in Today's Lending Environment
  • Information about FHA, Conventional, Jumbo, and Special Loan Program

Leveraging Down Payment Assistance (DPA) - 11:25 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

  • Available 2nd TD's (Zero Interest & Forgiven Loans)
  • Homebuyer Grants & Loan Programs
  • Occupational Assistance Programs
  • Program Availability & Low to Moderate AMI Limits

Homebuyer Education Workshops - 11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

  • Identifying Considerations for Your Event
  • Partners & Clientele Choices
  • Materials for a Workshop
  • Resources

Taking the Next STEPS - WIIFM- 12:00 p.m. - 12:15 p.m.

  • Closing Tips or Comments by Speakers
  • Resources
  • STEPS Toolkits Updates
  • Sustainable Homeownership
  • Education Materials & Homebuyer Training
  • Wrap it in a Bow

and then there was...

The BREAK-OUT Sessions - Q&A - 12:15 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

  • Sponsored Breakouts
  • Answering those Burning Questions
  • More Detailed Resource Materials

Requesting Time or Assistance to Review a Scenario

For Direct One-On-One Assistance, Click Me!


Your STEPS Panelists: 


Megan Harris 
Golden State Finance Authority
[email protected]

Cynthia Leal
Cynthia Leal

Guild Mortgage
[email protected]

David Mendez, Affordable Lending Manager
Freddie Mac
[email protected]

Linda Barrera
Skip Schenker
RENOFI - Renovation Manager
[email protected]

Faramarz Moeen-Ziai headshot
Faramarz (FM) Moeen-Ziai
CrossCountry Mortgage
[email protected]

Molly Ellis
Molly Ellis
California Housing Finance Agency (Cal HFA)
[email protected] 

Sean Moss
Sean Moss

Down Payment Resource
[email protected]

Rolanda Wilson
Rolanda Wilson
NID Housing Counseling Agency
[email protected]

Kama Burton
Broker-Owner CMB Realty Services
[email protected]

Abel Fregoso jr.
Abel Fregoso jr.
Homebridge Financial
[email protected]

Jordan Levine, S.V.P. & Chief Economist

Marc Farfel
Marc Farfel, Transaction Rescue Manager, Host
[email protected]


Requesting Time or Assistance to Review a Scenario

For Direct One-On-One Assistance, Click Me!


Please contact Marc Farfel at [email protected] for more information.

STEPS Toward Homeownership - Marketing Resources

To drive REALTOR® outreach to the STEPS Toward Homeownership Virtual Conference on December 6, 2023, C.A.R. has a variety of graphics and marketing materials available for you. Partner with us on providing key training and educational opportunities to members of your Association through email, online ads, social media, and mailings.

Social Media

STEPPIN' Toward Homeownership for all on your social media platforms!


STEPS Toward Homeownership - 4"x4"   
[Click image to download]


STEPS Toward Homeownership - 4"x4"

[Click image to download]

STEPS Toward Homeownership - Instagram Story

[Click image to download] 



STEPS Toward Homeownership Flyer
[Click image to download]




STEPS Toward Homeownership Customizable Flyer
[Click image to download]



Banner Ads

STEPS Toward Homeownership Banner - 1280x400px
[Click image to download]

STEPS Toward Homeownership Banner - 1200x150px

[Click image to download]


STEPS Toward Homeownership Banner - 1920x480px

[Click image to download]

Thank you for your participation and attendance at our STEPS Toward Homeownership Virtual Conference; we hope you enjoyed the event and STEPPED away with learning something new.

Below, please find our REALTOR® Resource Guide, each individual panel, as well as a combined file of all the sessions.

The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Transaction Rescue™ is pleased to present:

STEPS Toward Homeownership Resources

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