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STEPS Toward Homeownership Conference

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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: April 10th, 2024
Time: 10 am - 12:30 pm
Location: Live Virtual Event on Zoom

Financing the Dream of Homeownership


Register Here


Have you already attended a STEPS Toward Homeownership Conference? Spread the word! Share these event flyers to inspire your fellow REALTORS® to become #HomeownershipExperts! 


The STEPS Toward Homeownership program has been cut down 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.


Why Homeownership Matters & Overview of Today's Event - 10 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Understanding Homeowner Needs & Setting Expectations - 10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

  • Understanding & Communicating with Prospective Homebuyers
  • Fair and Equal Opportunities for All Potential Buyers
  • State of the Market - What does it take to Compete
    • FICO / Credit Requirements
    • Contingencies
    • Insurance/Condos/Inspections/TIC
  • Documentation Materials that may be Necessary

Financial Planning & Building the Winning Team - 10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

  • Budget Preparedness
  • Who are Your Partners - Lenders, Title, HUD Counselors & Escrow
  • Homebuyer Readiness Education

Financing the Deal - Putting it all Together - 10:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

  • Different levels of Knowledge with Available Products
  • Setting Expectations & Timelines
  • What Does it Take to Qualify? and What is the Required Paperwork?
  • Information about FHA, Conventional, Jumbo, and Special Loan Program

Leveraging Down Payment Assistance (DPA) - 11:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

  • Available 2nd TD's (Zero Interest & Forgiven Loans)
  • Homebuyer Grants & Loan Programs
  • Mortgage Certificate Credits (MCCs)

New Solutions to Affordability and Supply - 11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

  • Government or Public Policy
  • Addressing ADU's and How to Finance Them Going Forward
  • Renovation & Construction Lending Uses
  • Multi-Family vs. 2-4 unit Lending

Taking the Next STEPS - WIIFM- 12:00 p.m. - 12:10 p.m.

  • Resources
  • Contract Changes
  • Education Materials & Homebuyer Training
  • Wrap it in a Bow
  • Updates from John Sebree (CEO)

and then there was...

The BREAK-OUT Sessions - Q&A - 12:10 p.m. - 12:40 p.m.

  • Sponsored Break-Outs
  • Answering those Burning Questions
  • More Detailed Resource Materials

Requesting Time or Assistance to Review a Scenario

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


We would like to thank our Sponsors:


Guild Mortgage Logo


Chase logo




California Housing Finance Agency



Your STEPS Panelists: 


Meagan Harris - Golden State Finance Authority
Meagan Harris 
Golden State Finance Authority
[email protected]


Yong Choi

Guild Mortgage
[email protected]


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


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


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


Chuck Sayed - Rocket Mortgage
Chuck Sayed
Rocket Mortgage (Pro)
[email protected]


Sean Moss STEPS Headshot
Sean Moss
Down Payment Connect
[email protected]


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


Suchada Lerknant - Chase
Suchada Lerknant
Chase Home Loan
[email protected] 


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


Vilma Letosky - Bella Vista
Vilma Letosky, REALTOR® Broker Owner
Bella Vista Estates
[email protected]



Felicia Mares - Abio Properties
Felicia Mares, Broker Owner
[email protected]


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


John Sebree, 2022 Chief Executive Officer

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