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JPMorgan Chase has a homebuyer grant program to help individuals become homeowners. Photo Courtesy of Marcus Branch.
JPMorgan Chase has a homebuyer grant program to help individuals become homeowners. Photo Courtesy of Marcus Branch.

Homeownership: A key to building wealth

One of the sessions during the “Advancing Black Wealth Tour" stop in Philadelphia last Saturday discussed this topic.

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LaTosha Taylor is the community and affordable business development manager at JPMorgan Chase.

Working in this space for over two decades, Taylor has learned and taught a lot along the way with a focus on home lending. 

To begin her presentation at the “Advancing Black Wealth Tour” in Philadelphia, she made a very firm point about the impact and value of homeownership.

“I believe homeownership is the first step into creating wealth,” said Taylor.

With this front of mind, she uses her role to fulfill her passions of helping families and individuals create generational wealth through homeownership. 

During the Philadelphia stop of the “Advancing Black Wealth Tour,” Taylor participated in a sit-down with colleague, Scott Misher, who also is a home lending manager for JPMorgan Chase. 

They provided a detailed overview on how to become a homeowner, the value behind it, and how it can become the stepping stone to creating wealth, using personal anecdotes. 

“The power of influence and education around financial health is so important,” said Misher. 

Taylor and Misher take part in a discussion on the topic of homeownership during the "Advancing Black Wealth Tour" in Philadelphia. Photo Courtesy of Marcus Branch.
Taylor and Misher take part in a discussion on the topic of homeownership during the "Advancing Black Wealth Tour" in Philadelphia. Photo Courtesy of Marcus Branch. 

Homeownership goes far beyond the confines of having a roof over your head, and can instead be used as an economic tool.

“You can use it to invest in a new property, to start a new business, to pay off your debt, and you could use it to advance your education — not only for yourself, but maybe your children also,” said Taylor, adding that homeownership is the most efficient way to do these things.

Taylor noted that owning a home can allow an individual to collect equity that can be transferred to the next generation, giving them a step up in life.

To aid in this endeavor for individuals and families, JPMorgan Chase has a homebuyer grant program.

“It was created with the intent to help the Black and Hispanic communities purchase a home, it was specifically designed to help you either pay your closing costs [or] your down payment,” said Taylor.

The grant is forgivable, and no repayment requirement. 

“What I love most about the grant is that it’s $5,000, it’s property-specific, there is no caveat to acquire those grants with Chase,” added Misher. 

On a personal level, homeownership is among the biggest components of the situation Taylor finds herself in today.

She purchased her first home at 22 years old, which allowed her to go to college, pay to remain on campus, her school books, and also a portion of her tuition.

After graduating college, she used her expenses to buy a second property, where she rented the first and second floors, while living in the basement. 

“And I used income from that property to pay off my student loans, and then I took those two properties when I met my husband and bought our home that we live in now,” she said.

“So, we were able to put a substantial amount of down payment and also create more generational wealth for our children,” Taylor added. 

What to Consider When Buying a Home

“Finding a new home is going to be your biggest investment you’re going to ever make in life,” said Taylor. “It’s pretty much like the biggest investment besides finding a life partner.”

Therefore, it’s important to be mindful of key components, and make the right decision for yourself. 

“Knowing that purchasing a home is really the largest purchase that somebody will make in their life… there are some pillars in the home buying process.”

To this end, he shared eight steps that should be taken in the time between beginning the home search and closing in on your new home:

  1. Know what you can afford
  2. Give yourself an advantage
  3. Talk to the experts
  4. Finding a home
  5. Work with an agent
  6. Make the offer
  7. Apply for a home loan
  8. Close on your home

To close, Taylor added: “You just have to take advantage of the programs and… the resources that are available to you… we want to make sure that you’re able to achieve your goal.”

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