Thursday, February 4, 2010

NeighborWorks Recognizes Black History Month by Offering Tips for Long-Term Affordable Homeownership

For more than 30 years NeighborWorks America has strived to help make the dream of affordable homeownership a reality for underserved populations. For some time, however, families were priced out of the market and homeownership was a distant dream. Today there is improved affordability and tremendous opportunity, which makes homeownership an achievable dream for potential buyers who should heed the lessons learned from the housing crisis.

This year, NeighborWorks America recognizes Black History Month by urging African Americans who are interested in becoming homeowners to seek homeownership education at local NeighborWorks organizations to best prepare for making their dreams of long-term homeownership come true.

“Buying a home is a complex financial transaction and homebuyers who begin the process with the right information through homeownership education lay the groundwork for long-term success for themselves, their families, and the community at-large,” said Ken Wade, CEO of NeighborWorks America.

If you are interested in becoming a homeowner but want to know if you are on the right path, Wade offers seven questions that homebuyers should ask themselves so they know whether they are ready for homeownership:

  • Do you have a reliable source of income?
  • Do you plan on living in your community for 10+ years?
  • Are you a saver?
  • Do you have minimal debt?
  • Do you have a good credit score?
  • Do you have at least a five percent down payment saved, along with funding to cover closing costs and moving expenses?
  • Are you prepared for the responsibility of maintaining a home after purchase?
“Whether you are ready to buy a home now or you want to prepare for homeownership in a year, two years, or more, homeownership education will put you on the path toward achieving your dream,” said Wade.

Where can homebuyers find homeownership education in their community? NeighborWorks has nearly 100 local HUD-approved nonprofit housing counseling organizations across the country that have trained counselors on-staff, ready to advise families one-on-one and help them make the right homeownership choice for them. To find a local NeighborWorks organization that offers homeownership education in your area, visit