NeighborWorks America applauds the latest decision by Congress and the Obama Administration to renew the homebuyer tax credit and make the credit available to both first-time homebuyers and repeat homeowners who have lived in their homes for five years. Regardless of whether you are a first-time homebuyer or an existing homeowner ready to make your next home purchase, NeighborWorks urges all homebuyers to seek homeownership education from a HUD-approved nonprofit organization before purchasing a home.
“Buying a home is a complex financial transaction and homeowners who begin the process with the right information through homeownership education lay the groundwork for long-term success for themselves and the community at-large,” said Ken Wade, CEO of NeighborWorks America. “Millions have been affected by the short-term approach to homeownership that was prevalent earlier this decade. Had homebuyers had adequate access to homebuyer education prior to their home purchases, I am sure that the foreclosure crisis would have been less severe.”
Participation in homeownership education helps homebuyers determine if they are ready for homeownership. Through homeownership education, potential homebuyers will:
► Assess their financial situation and determine if their financial house in order;
► Decide how much home they can afford, in terms of both cost and size;
► Understand responsible home financing and which loan products are most appropriate for them; and
► Learn how to adequately maintain a home after purchase.
For 30 years, the NeighborWorks network, which includes organizations like NeighborWorks Waco, based in Waco, Texas, and nearly 100 other locally-based non-profit organizations have worked with thousands of homebuyers to help them achieve their dream of long-term homeownership.
Roy and Delores Martinez became first-time homeowners earlier in 2009 through NeighborWorks Waco’s program. After having considered buying for several years, they finally visited NeighborWorks Waco, where they received one-on-one attention from a homeownership counselor, took an eight-hour financial literacy course, and an eight-hour pre-purchase homebuyer education course. “It was unreal all the information that we learned from these classes that we didn’t even know was out there. It taught us what to do and how to make a decision of our own, and they helped us understand all of our questions throughout the entire process. Ultimately, we couldn’t have done it without NeighborWorks,” said Mr. Martinez.
“We take tremendous pride in our homebuyers’ counseling and education curricula that instructs clients on how to get their finances in shape and then how to purchase their respective home the right way,” said Roy Nash, president and CEO of NeighborWorks Waco. “Without this, homebuyers are essentially thrown out into the home purchasing frenzy and forced to take their best guess as to how to make wise home buying decisions. There are a lot of pieces of the puzzle that should come together successfully following the appropriate counseling education.”
HUD-approved counseling organizations like NeighborWorks Waco have trained counselors on-staff, ready to advise families one-on-one and help them make the right homeownership choices for them.
To find out more about homeownership education courses offered at your local NeighborWorks organization, click here.
For more information, visit www.nw.org.