The National Association of Realtors – a Great Resource for Home-buyers

Home-buyers need every tool at their disposal to understand the labyrinth of Residential Real Estate.  One tool we gain a lot of information from is the National Association of Realtors “Realtor Magazine”.  Have a Question?  Use their search bar to locate informative articles or just review their “Daily News Articles” where you will find articles such as these:

Realtors & their associations are advocates for the right to own, use, & transfer real property.  Meaning, they are YOUR advocates for home-ownership.

 

 

HUD RESOURCES. . .

HUD Resources aid in home-ownership, default / foreclosure prevention, & even offer assistance for renters. . . 

Are you considering purchasing a home, refinancing to get out of a loan that is pulling you under, or are you like many others struggling to stay in your current home?  Before looking anywhere else for advice, start with HUD, BECAUSE they sponsor housing counseling agencies throughout the country to provide FREE or low-cost advice on:

  • buying a home,
  • renting,
  • default,
  • foreclosure avoidance,
  • credit issues, or
  • reverse mortgages?

&, HUD provides around the clock (24/7) advise from housing experts on the above resources, for free at 888-995-HOPE (4673), or M-F, 844-995-HOME (4663).

Still not completely sure? Here are 5 reasons to work with a housing counselor at a HUD-approved agency:

  1. Honest Advice:A housing counselor will help you by assessing your situation. They will talk to you about the good & the bad with an unbiased opinion, bringing background knowledge of the best practices, upholding the national Industry Standards for Homeownership Education & Counseling. In addition, they have worked with many homeowners, banks, & servicers, & this experience means they know how to keep the process moving forward, & the various programs that may help your situation.
  2. Explanation of bank letters: A certified housing counselor can help you dissect the terminology used in the correspondence issued by your lender & in the paperwork of the loan modification process. While a
    bank or servicer may say your loan is “going into foreclosure,” they can help you understand what the actual timeline is for foreclosure & how to look out for important things like a Notice of Default.
  3. Your Budget:A counselor will work with you to review your budget. Counselors can provide budget counseling & calculate your housing ratios, so you understand your ability to afford your mortgage & explain how these same ratios could impact your eligibility for assistance. For example, a counselor can review your income vs. your housing expenses & explain to you how that will impact your eligibility for a program like VHDA’s Down Payment Assistance (DPA).
  4. Communication with your Bank or Servicer:Have you submitted paperwork to your bank or servicer multiple times, or called your designated representative but were not able to speak to them? While these types of issues can’t be completely eliminated, a certified counselor may have a reliable contact with your lender or have an efficient method of submitting your documents which can help smooth out some of the bumps along the way during the lender’s review.
  5. Resources:Housing Counselors are able to provide you with resources, such as the VHDA Loss Mitigation program.  Studies have shown that with the help of a HUD-certified counselor:
    • nearly 70 percent of those counseled obtained a mortgage remedy to retain their home;
    • 56 percent cured their defaults and became current on their mortgages; &
    • 35 percent of participants became homeowners within 18 months of pre-purchase counseling.

Whether a first-time home-buyer or facing foreclosure, be sure to find a HUD Approved Housing Counselor to learn more on the variety of housing counseling services and financial educational programs available to help consumers obtain and keep their piece of
the American Dream.

 

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