Univision Online, Inc. together with Countrywide Home Loans Inc. and Fannie Mae announced the launch of "Casa," a new channel on Univision.com. Casa is the first online Spanish-language resource for home buying and home ownership and was created to help increase the home ownership rate among the nation's 33 million Hispanics by providing the necessary home buying information, tools, and the ability to apply for a loan online.
Countrywide will provide consumers with mortgage information and the ability to apply for a loan online at the "Casa" Channel. Fannie Mae will provide the technology enhancements that enable the lender to provide additional mortgage products on the site. The Casa Channel provides consumers with critical information about the mortgage process, including the importance of understanding their credit status, when and how to refinance an existing mortgage, an overview of home improvement projects and financing, a comprehensive glossary of key mortgage- related terms, and Fannie Mae's True Cost Calculator. The True Cost Calculator is an online tool that helps consumers calculate all the costs of getting a mortgage, including interest rates and points, mortgage insurance costs, appraisal fees, title insurance fees, and other settlement charges.
"By working with industry leaders like Countrywide and Fannie Mae, we are taking a significant step toward bringing the full scope of home ownership opportunities offered online to Spanish-speaking internet users, who have been underserved until now," said Javier Saralegui, President, Univision Online. "Univison.com's Casa Channel will provide the U.S. Hispanic community with online information and tools to make home ownership a reality."
In 1999, 45.5 percent of Hispanic Americans owned their own homes. With the creation and launch of "Casa", Univision.com, Countrywide, and Fannie Mae hope to help increase that number.
"Our association with Univision.com and Fannie Mae is an extension of our commitment and concerted effort to provide home financing opportunities to Hispanic consumers," said Angelo Mozilo, Chairman of Countrywide Home Loans. "We designed the information for Univision.com with a single goal in mind -- to facilitate homeownership for the Hispanic community by providing information and various services in Spanish."
In the Casa Channel, visitors can click on any one of the sections to gather important information. Key sections of the site include:
- Rent - Consumers will find renting information from a renters' point of view, including background data on leasing, rental rates, and tenants' rights information.
- Home Buying - This section contains a wide range of useful information on the home buying process, including how to get started, what documentation is needed, understanding credit, special calculators to determine mortgage costs, and an online loan application and approval tool.
- Decorating - A resource filled with helpful hints and suggestions on how to decorate your house to make it look and feel more like home.
- Gardening - Perennials and annuals -- this segment contains all the information needed for aspiring "green thumbs."
- Remodeling - Learn ways to increase the value of your home by remodeling, including the variables a consumer should consider when undertaking a remodeling project.
- Repairs - Effective guidelines on home repairs and maintenance of your home.