One Simple Way to Improve Your Chances of Home Ownership: Housing Counselor

Why working with a Housing Counselor can increase your chances of becoming a homeowner.

“Homeownership…it represents the foundation of … financial investments and serves as the basis for accumulating potential wealth in the future. Yet for many, particularly those with low and moderate incomes, it is the elusive linchpin of the American dream.” Homeownership counseling study

Are you interested in owning your own home someday? Does homeownership feel out of reach? Something you’ll do someday, but not now?

Housing counselors can help you get to that someday, soon!

Homeownership can be closer than you think and the path there can be simpler than it appears. Housing Counselors are here to help you through a somewhat complex and often overwhelming process.

Why are people passing up this great investment opportunity?

 “It’s complicated…”

According to recent data, this is essentially what is holding people back from trying to purchase a home.

NeighborWorks America recently released data from its third annual national housing survey which showed that while 87% of Americans feel that homeownership is an “important” part of the American Dream – 70% of adults said that they strongly or somewhat agreed “that the home buying process is complicated”, up from 67% in 2014.

People want to buy a home but don’t know how to do it!

Working with a Housing Counselor will help, we promise.

A Housing Counselor works with homebuyers one-on-one to help them meet their homeownership goals. They can educate and answer questions about mortgages, budgeting, insurance, and credit.

What is the cost of a Housing Counselor? It is free! Yes, free.

At NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, the only requirement to work with a Housing Counselor is to complete a Homebuyer Education Class. These classes are offered in-person or online so they can accommodate busy schedules.

A Homebuyer Education Class covers all of the topics that will help you become an informed buyer.

Education and counseling is good for anyone who is purchasing a home no matter what their  income level because it leads to a better  understanding of what you can truly can afford so that you can budget accordingly.

A realtor who attended the workshop stated that everyone who plans to purchase a home should attend this workshop and that she was going to refer all of her customers to us.

Here is some of the feedback we’ve received from people who attended our Homebuyer Education Class:

I love flash drives given with all of the resources and financial forms that I can reuse in the future and I am looking forward to meeting with the counselor to learn more about budgeting and saving.” – Homebuyer Education Class Attendee

A Housing Counselor provides personal, practical guidance.

Our own Housing Counselor, Nancy, helps clients create action plans to improve their financial situation. Recently, she worked with a client to boost his credit score so that he would be eligible for a home loan, and be able to buy a house. Based on the counseling he received, he was able to increase his credit score by forty points in just four months!

During his meeting with Nancy he received referrals to three mortgage companies and three Realtors. He was able to find a Realtor who started working with him immediately. Now, his credit has improved and he’s found the right property to buy.

In addition to Realtors and mortgage professionals, a counselor will be able to connect you with home inspectors and other contractors.

How Can a Counselor Help You with the Fixer- Upper?house-window-flowerpots

Buying an affordable home often means there is something that will need to be fixed or updated, either before move-in or shortly thereafter.

Purchasing a home that needs a lot of TLC is a great way to invest, and it can also be a way to afford a neighborhood that is on its way up. However, home improvements can be daunting.

A Home Counselor understands this and can guide a potential homeowner towards programs that make repairs affordable.  NeighborWorks of Western Vermont offers a variety of rehab loans for just this purpose.

Housing Counselors Can Educate on Down Payments and Loans

A home counselor who is helping guide you can make the home buying process go more smoothly, and often more quickly.

And then there are those two words that cause a lot of people to stop in their tracks – Down Payment.

Let’s face it – even if you qualify for an affordable mortgage, you might not have the cash for a down payment. Even if the cash needed is lower than the traditional 20% of the purchase price – many buyers still find it near impossible to save enough cash for the down payment as well as closing costs.

There are down payment assistance programs that can help you with that initial lump sum! If you didn’t know that you are not alone.

NeighborWorks of America released information from 2014 that stated 70% of U.S. adults are not aware that there are down-payment assistance programs available to middle-income buyers. Another good reason to work with a counselor who is aware and knowledgeable about all of the available assistance.

Homeownership is Within Reach

There are qualified buyers who are within reach of buying a home, you might be one.  In many cases here in Vermont, buying a home can be more affordable than paying rent! Often the cost of a monthly mortgage payment, including taxes and insurance, can be lower than rent. A little assistance to get you started may be all it takes to overcome what are seen as obstacles.

Ready to set up your first appointment with a Housing Counselor? Contact us.

We can help!

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