Home Ownership Maintenance and Education
This program is designed to allow sorority member, family, friends and the communities we serve to be trained on three phases of Home Ownership. Information is available on any one or all three phases:
Keeping your H.O.M.E. - options for avoiding foreclosure
This manual is to be used as a tool to familiarize interested persons with the terms and fundamental concepts used in purchasing and maintaining a homeownership. The manual is not intended to be a source for advice or guidance. Any interest rates, tax rates, projections given may not be current, and are used for demonstrative purposes. Any examples used are provided for further explanation of definitions or concepts introduced within. For all planning and or advice, please contact a certified licensed professional (realtor, appraiser, real estate attorney, property inspector, credit counselor, pre-purchase home buyer counselor i.e.).
Table of Contents
Is Homeownership Right for You? 1
What is a Mortgage? 2
What Are the Risks? 8
Myths About Homeownership 9
Credit and Homeownership 10
Credit and Credit Reports 11
What Are The Facts About Credit Reports? 12
How To Avoid Predatory Lending 17
How Do You Get Credit Reports? 20
What Are The Facts About Credit Reports? 21
House Hunting 26
Making an Offer 33
Closing on a Home 37
Owning and Keeping a Home 41
Applying For a Mortgage 46
Is Homeownership Right for You?
Buying a home is the largest purchase most people will ever make. Homeownership has great benefits, but with that come certain responsibilities.
Are you ready for homeownership? Look at your current situation, then examine the following questions. If the answer to any of them are no, you may need to re-examine your current situation or just wait until the right time in which all of your answers are yes.
Your have a steady, reliable source of income and a steady employment history for at least two years.
You have a credit history.
Your total debt is manageable and you can afford to take on the costs associated with homeownership.
You have money saved for a down payment and closing costs or you have access to other sources of funds, such as an employment bonus, tax refund, or a gift from a relative.
Think about your future plans that might affect your ability to manage the costs of homeownership.
Consider whether you need to make lifestyle changes that might include not taking expensive vacations or purchasing luxury cars, and/or dining out less.
Consider the costs of growing a family when looking at your homeownership budget.
Consider whether your future plans might include a wedding a college education for yourself or your kids
And remember, the mortgage is not the only expense you need to consider. Homeownership comes with other potential budget items such as repairs, maintenance, taxes, landscaping, etc.
Once you fully understand your current situation, your future plans, and the big picture in terms of homeownership, it’s important to look at the pros and cons of homeownership to make the best decision for you and your family.
What are the advantages of Homeownership?
There are many great reasons to consider owning a home:
You'll have a place that is yours! You'll own it, have a place to raise your children and become a part of your community. You can pass your home down to your children, and their children, creating security for generations to come.
You may pay less to own a home than you would to rent – and it's yours at the end! Homeownership can reduce the federal income taxes you pay. You can deduct the interest on your home mortgage and property taxes you pay on your home on the tax returns you file each year. These tax savings partially reduce, or offset somewhat, the actual cost of owning your home.
Your monthly payments won't ever go up if you choose a fixed-rate mortgage! If you choose a mortgage with a fixed-interest rate (one that stays the same for the life of the loan, say 30 years), you'll pay the same mortgage payment each month for the entire 30 years of the loan (if your taxes go up, your escrow will go up – increasing your monthly payment).
You'll build a good nest egg! Owning a home and building equity is the single greatest source of financial security and independence for the majority of people who've taken this step.
A mortgage is a lien on a property/house that secures a loan and is paid in installments over a set period of time. The mortgage secures your promise that you'll repay the money you've borrowed to buy your home. Mortgages come in many different shapes and sizes, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Make sure you select the mortgage that is right for you, your future plans, and your financial situation.