In honor of June being National Homeownership Month, we would like to emphasise the importance to potential homeowners to explore the various resources in your community that are there to assist you to reach your homeownership goals. The benefits of owning a home continue to increase. Some examples are:
- Responsible homeownership is the key to building wealth and strong middle-class families.
- Homeownership offers the freedom of creating the living environment that you have always dreamed of.
- Homeowners move less frequently than renters, which increases their engagement within their community.
- Owning a home has positive tax implications for many families, often times reducing tax burdens tremendously.
Are you interested in becoming a homeowner? Explore the benefits of your local HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling. These HUD-approved housing counselors are trained professionals that can help you make the housing decisions that are right for you. They provide homeowner education, pre-purchase and foreclosure prevention counseling, budget assistance, fair housing information and much more.
Read below of some of the examples when families who “Beat the Odds” by using HUD housing counseling services and successfully obtained homeownership.
Joy of Queens, NY
Housing Counseling Agency: Neighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica
When Joy sought housing counseling in July 2013, she had very low credit scores and was heavily in debt – mostly student loans. She signed up for a First Home Club Matched Savings Plan with HSBC and, while saving, worked to rebuild her credit. Over the course of the next three years, Joy continued to improve her finances, with several follow-up meetings with a counselor to monitor her progress. In March 2016, she was approved for a SONYMA loan and purchased a co-op in Rosedale, Queens.
Ciara of Cleveland, OH
Housing Counselling Agency: Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP)
Ciara is a 24-year-old single female earning just under $23,000 annually. She had litle savings and even less knowledge of all that goes into purchasing and maintaining a home. Afer attending Homebuyer Education classes and pre-purchasing counseling at ESOP in 2015, Ciara spent the next nine months following all of the recommendations of her HUD housing counselor – sticking to her spending plan, increasing savings amount and frequency, and following the advice of her counselor to improve her credit score. Ciara purchased a newly renovated single family home, qualifying for $10,500 from the Cuyahoga County Down Payment Assistance. The program, which brought the loan amount down to a sustainable payment. Ciara feels ESOP prepared her for homeownership and provided her with the information to choose the best members of her home buying team (housing counselor, lender, realtor, home inspector, etc.) who worked together to help her obtain the dream of home ownership!
Jada of Temple Hills, MD
Housing Counseling Agency: Salisbury Neighborhood Housing Services
By the spring of 2014, Jada had become overwhelmed by the cost of living in the Washington DC metro area. Despite steady employment with the US Census Bureau, she qualified as a very-low-income household and did not think she could afford to buy a house. Even if she could take advantage of the generous assistance of the District’s Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP), she was unable to afford a house or condo that could safely accommodate her and her two children. Unsure of what to do next, Jada sought the advice of the Housing Initiative Partnership counseling staff. HIP’s staff worked with her to increase her credit score and savings, and during this period her purchase power increased nearly $30,000, broadening the number of houses available to her. In April 2015, Jada and her children moved into their very first home, a foreclosure HIP purchased and significantly renovated.
We encourage you to reach out to a HUD-approved housing counselor to start the conversation of homeownership options. Find a HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agency in your area today!