First time home buyers getting into market

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BRADENTON--Calling yourself a homeowner is the cornerstone of almost any American dream. But if English isn't your first language, chasing that dream can quickly turn into a nightmare.

"I think that a lot of Spanish people...get scared because they think that if they don't speak the language, like English, that no one will understand them," said Fabiola Carreon-Cruz, who is hoping to land her first home soon.

She's just one of a growing number of Latinos looking to do the same at a class for first time home buyers on Saturday.

"Throughout the program, its taught me a lot," said Carreon-Cruz, "I don't feel lost anymore."

With the housing market rebounding, the number of first time home buyers wanting to get in on the action is growing.

"Getting educated is the first step before you try to buy your home or get a loan," said housing counselor Lucy Sanchez Cruz.

Experts say 2013 could be one of the most active years for first time home buyers since the market crashed in 2008.

And while owning a home may sound like a good idea to many, doing so can be a shot in the dark whether or not you speak English.

"Buying a home is the first and most important decision that they make in their lives," said real estate broker Lucy Martinez, "and they really don't know where to start."

But to avoid the pitfalls that caused the market to crash in the first place, first time home buyers often find that securing a mortgage is much harder than it used to be.

"Now we have to put money down, we have to verify credit, we have to verify they can actually pay the mortgage back," said Martinez.

Experts also point out various incentives, like tax credits and grants, spurring first time home buyers into the market.

However they say before you commit to anything, take a deep breath and start to plan ahead.

"Take the time and do that homework," said Sanchez Cruz, "it's important to go step by step."