Do you dream of buying a house and making it your home?
Do you sometimes feel like it’s a distant dream, and you’re not sure how to make it a reality?
Are you ready to buy, but want to know more about the market, mortgages, and the closing process before you make an offer?
We have options for all of that and more at NEDCO!
Our OpportunityWorks department is a one-stop shop for homebuyers in Lane and Marion Counties. Whether you are 4 years or 4 months from buying your first home, we offer workshops, classes, individual pre-purchase counseling, down payment assistance programs and other resources to help you become a successful first time homebuyer.
If you live in Clackamas County, we can help you connect with our wonderful partners at the Portland Housing Center.
Option One: Start With a Class
ABC’s of Homebuying – This fast-paced, one-day class will help you understand the entire home buying process. NEDCO staff will walk you through the decision to buy and the financial/credit preparation. Expert volunteer realtors, lenders, escrow officers, and insurance agents each teach sections providing up-to-date information from their fields. This class will help you feel more confident as you navigate each step of buying your first home. If you want a high level, no frills, straight-to-the-details presentation, this is the class for you!
Registration for ABCs of Homebuying includes an optional one-time individual counseling session with an Asset Building Specialist and a single-bureau credit report. See more information about this below.
The ABCs of Homebuying meets the 8-hour education requirement for many down payment assistance programs and specialized mortgage loans. You will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the class.
Framework Homebuyer Education – An online homebuying class, similar in content to ABCs of Homebuying, – can be completed from the comfort of your own home! Click here to proceed to the Framework website.
A one-time individual counseling session is required following completion of Framework in order to receive a certificate of completion.
Threshold Homeownership Program–Threshold is a more in-depth alternative (or addition!) to ABCs of Homebuying – perfect for those who are a little further away from their homeownership goal or those who want more detail about each step. And it adds great information about maintaining your home over time. Typically taught in four 2-hour sessions, Threshold takes a comprehensive look at each of the following: working with a realtor and shopping for a home; choosing and applying for a mortgage; basic home repair and maintenance; and making energy improvements to your home.
Threshold is often taken in combination with Financial Foundations, which covers how to prepare your finances and your credit for buying a home.
Registration for Threshold includes ongoing counseling sessions with an Asset Building Specialist and a single bureau credit report.
Threshold meets the homeownership education requirement for our Individual Development Account Program. (Taking Financial Foundations and Threshold in combination meets both the financial and homeownership education requirements)
The Home of Your Own Program (HOYOP)–This class is required for people and families participating in HOYOP (Home of Your Own Program) through St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP). It is a variation of our Threshold class, described above. Please contact SVDP if you are interested in applying for HOYOP.
Option Two: Start by Meeting with an Asset Building Specialist
Not sure which class best fits your needs? Interested in working with someone to create a personalized path forward? Meeting with an Asset Building Specialist may be the best choice! When you meet, an Asset Building Specialist will:
- Identify NEDCO classes and services that are most beneficial;
- Help you plan your timeline, up-front costs, savings goal, purchase price range, etc.
- Review your credit report with you, to make sure it’s accurate and then create a plan to repair or rebuild and credit issues, pay down debt, or just build stronger credit;
- Analyze your financial situation and help you create a budget that will allow you to pay down debt and save toward a down payment;
- Provide guidance about mortgage products that might be a good fit for you;
- Refer you to other resources that will help you toward your goal;
- Review your loan and closing documents if you are already in the process of purchasing.
Starting with class or a meeting with an Asset Building Specialist is completely up to you!
To begin with a counseling appointment you’ll need to fill out the Asset Building Enrollment Packet and return it to our office with copies of the supporting documents listed on page 1. This will help our staff provide you with the most accurate, in-depth analysis of your current financial picture.
Through classes and counseling, we’ll help you connect with the tools you need to make your homeownership dream a reality. Here are a few of the most common resources and referrals:
Individual Development Accounts (IDA) – An IDA is a matched savings program that helps you save toward closing costs and a down payment. Follow the link for more information.
Down Payment Assistance Programs – Various programs offer anywhere from $2000 – $10,000 in grants or “silent second” loans (zero interest and no payments until you sell the home) to help you with a down payment. Funding and availability vary, but our Asset Building specialists will have the most up to date information for you.
Trusted Referrals for Realtors, Lenders, and Insurance Agents – If you need help finding a lender, realtor or other homeownership professional, we have referral lists of people who have experience working with first time buyers and have completed a NEDCO orientation and training process. Ask your Asset Building Specialist for any referral list that will help you find the right people to help you buy your home.
Credit-Building Tools – If you need to establish or repair credit before you can buy a home, our affiliated CDFI might be able to help! Community LendingWorks (CLW) provides credit builder loans and other financial tools. You can contact CLW directly or ask your counselor for a referral.
Information About Specialized Mortgage Products – Did you know that there are hundreds of different mortgage products on the market? Some offer low (or no) down payment. Others can include money to repair/rehab the home. Others have special incentives if you’re a teacher, police officer, or union member. The options change almost weekly, and our counselors can help point you in the right direction to find the mortgage that will be the best fit for you and your family!
Success Story: A home of his own- Abel Poton
Abel opened a door to a new beginning by accomplishing his dream of purchasing his first home in August 2011. Abel’s determination to succeed and his vision to provide a secure home of his own for his three children helped him reach his goal. Read More