Homebuyer Education

Homebuyer Education

Are you considering buying a home?

Addison, Bennington, or Rutland Counties

Understanding the fundamentals of the home buying process can reduce anxiety and improve your home buying experience. At NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, we offer in-person Homebuyer Education classes every month, a new “live virtual” class, as well as access to an online course available at all times offered through eHome America.

Our Homebuyer Education classes are for those living in or planning to purchase in Addison, Bennington, or Rutland Counties.

Along with being more prepared to maneuver through the homebuying process, receiving Homebuyer Education allows you become eligible for numerous financial perks, including:

• Down-payment assistance programs
Grants up to $25,000 or more
• Closing-cost assistance

PLEASE NOTE: During this time of COVID-19, NeighborWorks of Western Vermont is now offering limited-size in-person homebuyer education classes at our NWWVT office in West Rutland. Masks are required as well as other COVID safety precautions during the class.

PLEASE NOTE: If you do not live in Rutland, Addison or Bennington Counties OR if you are not planning to purchase in one of these counties, please contact the appropriate counseling agency:

Champlain Housing Trust
Chittenden, Franklin & Grand Isle Counties

Rural Edge
Caledonia, Essex and Orleans Counties

Downstreet Housing & Community Development
Lamoille, Orange and Washington Counties

Windham & Windsor Housing Trust
Windham and Windsor Counties

Homebuyer Education Class via ZOOM!

We have a NEW, “Virtual live” interactive online class! Register below, note: will require access to a computer and internet.

NeighborWorks of Western Vermont has created a new Virtual live Homebuyer Education Course as an alternative for those who want the in-person experience, but are unable to attend in-person. The benefit to this format is that you can attend a live class from the comfort of your home, get your questions answered in real-time, and benefit from live speakers.   

These classes take place online via Zoom and are taught by our Homebuyer Education Class professionals. Class is for the full 8-hours required for the certificate and includes a one-on-one financial counseling session after you’ve completed the course. 

View Class Schedule

You can see a schedule of classes on our NeighborWorks Compass website. If you see a course that you’d like to sign up for, simply click “Create an account” and follow the prompts.

Sign Up For
In-Person or "Live Virtual" Classes

If you are interested in signing up for a Homebuyer Education class, please follow the directions to create an account in NeighborWorks Compass or call (802) 438-2303 to enroll today!

Sign Up For
Self-paced Online eHome Class

Create an account on the NeighborWorks Compass website and sign up for your online class. For online participants there is a required one-hour meeting with the homeownership counselor.

Click here for a step-by-step guide to sign up for our classes!

Per Household

Class Fee: $99

The class fee is $99.00 per household for EACH in-person, virtual, and online classes. Fee includes: workbook, informational materials, and your personal credit report (received at later appointment). We are unable to waive the workshop fee.

Homebuyer Education Topics

• Your readiness to buy
Budgeting & Credit
Shopping for a home
Getting a mortgage
Home inspections & insurance
Life after closing
Information about grants, subsidies, and special loan products

Lenders that offer discounts for Homebuyer Education graduates

  • VSECU: waives their $375 underwriting fee on mortgage loans made to Homebuyer Education Graduates 
  • NBT Bank: offers $250 to Homebuyer Education graduates towards closing costs
  • PrimeLending: offers $250 of the closing costs to borrowers who present an official NeighborWorks of Western Vermont Homebuyer Education Certificate on standard USDA loans (but not if the borrower is using the VHFA with USDA).
  • Northeast Home Loan: offers a $250 credit to first-time homebuyers that complete Homebuyer Education for Home Possible Loans
  • Bank of Bennington: offers a $250 discount off from the appraisal for graduates of Homebuyer Education (contingent upon home purchase within year).
  • People’s United Bank: offers a $500 discount off closing costs for Homebuyer Education graduates

Contact NeighborWorks

Are you interested in talking with a NeighborWorks of Western Vermont representative about our classes? Contact us to find out which class is appropriate for you.

    The First Step in Successful Homeownership Starts with Homebuyer Education

    Have you been dreaming of owning your home?

    Are you wondering if it would be better to own your home instead of paying someone else’s mortgage? Have you been a homeowner in the past, but you are still confused about where to start?

    Then homebuyer education is the first step to becoming a successful homeowner.

    Buying a house is a big deal and not as simple as it used to be. Whether you are buying for the first time or the fifth time, you need to be more savvy and proactive.

    Homebuyer education provides consumers with knowledge and tools that can make their home shopping experience go more smoothly and feel less overwhelming by teaching tips and tricks to look out for along the way.

    Are you wondering if you are even ready to purchase a home? Do you have the credit, work history, money and knowledge needed to be a homeowner?

    By the time the class ends you will understand what is needed to be mortgage ready. The homebuyer educator will go over the basics of credit, how it works, minimum credit scores lenders like to see, work history requirements, out of pocket expenses, down payment, closing costs and the pros and cons of homeownership vs. renting and money management.

    In addition to all of this, participants will have at their disposal professional speakers to answer any questions they may have.

    • lender will discuss how to become mortgage ready and lending products that may be available.
    • Realtor will discuss the difference between a buyer’s broker and a seller’s broker, shopping for a home, and what to include in an offer.
    • home inspector will discuss what you should pay attention to when looking at homes and the importance of obtaining an inspection by a licensed home inspector to protect yourself legally.
    • An insurance agent will talk about the different types of home insurance, why it is important and the typical cost.

    Do you think you do not have down payment money and closing costs?

    Think again! Participants also learn about products that offer 100% financing.

    But what if you have challenging credit or too much debt and need to know how to address your specific situation?

    In a free one-on-one session the homeownership specialist will review your goals, income, expenses and credit. You will leave your session with a detailed action plan with steps to address any obstacles that you may have to reach your goal and you will know how much house is truly affordable for you.

    Quote from the Housing Counselor –

    “I worked with a customer whose scores were below the minimum required by mortgage lenders. After reviewing the credit report and explaining what was affecting her scores, I created a personalized action plan that including paying off some collections and opening a credit builder loan. The customer left with the action plan and a lot of motivation. When the customer came back for her three month follow-up appointment, she was mortgage ready” –Nancy

    Buying a home is probably one of the biggest commitments you will make. When homebuyers take this course they are better prepared for the purchase transaction as well as the ongoing costs of homeownership.

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    Wait! There’s more…

    What about life after closing?

    Participants will also learn how to protect their investment and how to use it when they need to. They will learn how to avoid foreclosure and what to do if they feel like they are headed for trouble. Participants also learn about the importance of proactive home repairs to avoid deferred maintenance issues.

    If you are not convinced yet, read these quotes by one of the homebuyer education participants.

    “I had always dreamed of owning my own home, but I had no idea where to begin. Television makes the home buying process look easy! I decided to educate myself and signed up. The class was totally worth the time and money. I learned so much!”- Stacie, Rutland VT

    “The thought of buying a home and having all those new responsibilities can be scary. However, after crunching the numbers, I realized that my monthly expenses would not be much more than what I was currently paying and I would just have to plan accordingly for the future. I have been a homeowner now for the past year and everything has gone according to plan” Stacie, Rutland VT

    “Being a newly self-employed artist I was working hard to build my business and save money. Buying a home is a big decision and takes a lot of time, money, hard work and commitment. However, I am happy that I took the leap. I can confidently say that homeownership was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Putting time and money into my home making improvements makes me proud of where I live” –Stacie, Rutland VT

    Are you ready to sign up for your Homebuyer Education Class? You can learn more and register here. Or give us a call. We are here to help!


    FREE Financial Budgeting Template