Becoming a Homeowner in the U.S.

Helping ESL students learn about how to buy a home in the U.S.

House Hunters

August 25, 2009 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

househunters

Click here to watch an American TV show called House Hunters.

Watch Laura and her family look at three houses in Michigan with her realtor. Which house will she buy ?

Renting vs. Buying a Home

August 22, 2009 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

ello rent vs. buy

Click here to listen to an interview about renting vs. buying a home on elllo.org.

Click here to take a quiz on the interview above.

Elllo Listening: Buying a House

August 22, 2009 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

elllo house 2

Click here to listen to an interview with an American homeowner on elllo.org.

Click here to listen and take a quiz on the interview.

NPR Podcast – Roundtable: Buying Your First Home

August 11, 2009 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

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Listen to an NPR radio broadcast from 2006 which is about a community organization that helps first time homebuyers.

ESL Lessons from Fannie Mae Foundation – How to Buy a Home in the United States

August 11, 2009 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

Click here for a wonderful set of lessons for ESL students from the Fannie Mae Foundation titled “How to Buy a Home in the United States”.

Ways to start a Credit History

August 10, 2009 by · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

Melissa and Elisa - MEDA

When you buy a new home, you need to borrow money for the mortgage. So, the bank will want to check your “credit history” to see if you pay your bills on time or not. Some people don’t have a credit history because they haven’t used credit cards or taken out loans before. So, it is important to start to build a credit history so that when you get ready to buy a home you can get a credit report that shows information about your credit history. A credit report will list a special number called a FICO score. Usually the number is between 300 and 900. The higher the number, the better your credit is and that will help you get a better interest rate on your mortgage. So, having good credit can help save you money.

Listen to Elisa and Melissa talk about different ways you can start to build up your credit history. Take notes and write down two or three ways you can start to build your credit history.

MEDA – Start Credit History

Down Payment for Homes

August 10, 2009 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

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Listen to a news story about a very special housing program in California. You can listen and read the story, watch the video and then try the exercises. The story is about “down payments”. A down payment is the first big payment people make when they buy a new home. Usually a down payment is between 3% and 20% of the total selling price of the home. If you make a bigger down payment in the beginning, your mortgage or monthly payments will be lower. But, for many people it is difficult to save up money for a down payment. The following story, “Down Payment For Homes”, is about a special program that helps people with their down payments. Listen, read and watch the video and then answer the following question. How do people in this story pay for their down payment ? Click on the link below to go to the story.

Down Payment for Homes

What are the advantages and responsibilites of being a homeowner ?

August 10, 2009 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

Melissa and Elisa - MEDA

We talked about some of the differences between renting and buying a home. Let’s listen to Elisa and Melissa, two homeownership counselors from MEDA, talk about the advantages and the responsibilities. Can you take notes and write down three advantages and three responsibilities ?

MEDA – Advantages and responsibilities of buying a home

MEDA – Basic Steps to Buying a Home – 11 Steps

August 10, 2009 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

Melissa and Elisa - MEDA

Now, let’s listen to Elisa and Melissa again as they tell us about 11 basic steps involved in buying a home.

MEDA – Basic Steps to Buying a home

MEDA: Mission Economic Development Agency – Homeownership Program

August 10, 2009 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

Melissa and Elisa - MEDA

There are different organizations in San Francisco that can help people learn about buying homes. MEDA is one organization that is located in the Mission district. I went and spoke to two of MEDA’s homeownership counselors, Melissa Martin and Elisa Baeza. They give workshops in English and Spanish to help educate people about the homebuying process. Let’s listen to them talk about MEDA.

MEDA – Homeownerships counselors Elisa and Melissa talk about MEDA’s Homebuying program