Over the past few years, declining mortgage rates have made it easier than ever to afford to buy a house. In 2018, the average annual rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.54 percent, according to Freddie Mac. In 2019, it dropped to 3.94, then to 3.11 in 2020 (the average rate fell to 2.68 by December 2020.)

The problem for many people is that they don’t know where to start the home buying process. Community Action Services and Food Bank is here to help with our free, in-person Homebuyer Education classes, one-on-one counseling, and more. In 2020:

  • 163 households completed our Homebuyer Education (HBE) Class.
  • 118 people completed the homebuyer pre-purchase counseling program.
  • 46 households purchased a home after attending the HBE Class.
  • 84 households received one-on-one pre-purchase counseling.

Here’s how we can help you.

Join Our Class

More and more people are buying homes, including first-time purchasers, due in part to low interest rates. The third quarter of 2020 saw the highest number of home purchases since 2006 and the highest number of first-time homebuyers in the past 20 years.

That means houses are selling fast, and it’s important to have your finances in order and a plan to purchase before you decide to look for a new home.

In our six-hour Homebuyer Education Class, which can also be split into two three-hour classes, participants learn about interest rates and how they affect the affordability of homeownership, ethical practices during the home purchase process, and the tools you’ll need to solve problems that come up on the path to homeownership.

We also teach participants about down payment assistance programs to help families overcome the 20 percent down payment obstacle. Assistance includes:

  • Zero-interest forgivable loans
  • Low-interest loans
  • Zero-interest deferred payment loans
  • Grants

Not everyone qualifies for these programs, though.

Make Your Own Plan

Everyone’s financial situation is different, and so should everyone’s plan to buy a home. At our Financial Learning Center, we offer one-on-one assistance as well as classes to help clients build a plan that meets all their needs.

In our personalized counseling sessions, we help clients:

  • Analyze their financial status and credit scores
  • Build a budget to reach their goals
  • Learn money management skills
  • Establish a plan for homeownership, whether it’s this year or two years down the road

In addition to one-on-one help, clients can take classes in our financial management series to help build their plan:

  • Saving for your future
  • Budgeting to achieve your goals
  • Becoming your own debt manager
  • Understanding your credit, credit report, and credit score

Still aren’t sure where to start prepping for buying a home? Our Homebuyer Education courses and one-on-one counseling can help you learn everything you need to know. Register online or contact us at (801) 691-5241 for more information.