Hispanic Homeguide

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Buying a home can be a stressful process especially if you don't speak English. But a local realtor is trying to make homes more accessible to Rockford's growing Hispanic community.

Paul Gambino's immigrant grandparents inspired him to make buying a home easier for Rockford's Hispanic community, which shot up 145 percent in the past 10 years.

"I used to see my grandparents struggle with English and I thought perhaps this is the right thing to do. They're new in our country and they deserve a break. They're an economic force," said Gambino.

In this week's edition of Gambino's Homeguide, readers will find listings in Spanish and English. The agency is also hiring bilingual agents, and dedicating a phone line solely to Spanish speakers.

"We're not sure we're going to make any money on it initially but we think there's a market there," Gambino said.

Pedro Rascon, a native of Mexico, is one of Gambino's bilingual agents. He says the service will certainly help his clients.

"Before they didn't know a lot of the information. Basic information they need to know to think seriously about buying a home," said Rascon.

Gambino says about 10 percent of the agency's clients are Hispanic. But he believes these efforts will help more Hispanic families become homeowners.

The Spanish language phone number is 815-637-0703. The Homeguide is available in the Rockford Register Star.