Home For Good

How do I assess if I am qualified before committing to the application process?

It is difficult to provide a black and white answer to this question as everyone’s situation varies and we consider everyone individually. In general, however, we are assessing the likelihood that our two year monthly counseling program will be enough time to ensure that you can qualify to make the final purchase. We don’t want to set anyone up for failure, of course. In most cases we require a credit score above 600, a fairly clean recent/12 month history of not making late payments on accounts, documentation of information provided in the application (including: recent paystubs, bank statements, W-2’s, tax returns, etc). Many of our applicants even have excellent credit but simply have not had a long enough history of earning the income they know make due to promotion, new job, recent trade school or college completion, etc. The two year program allows people to build up that history and prove they are handling the payments.

How long will it take for me to find out if I am accepted into the program?

The first step is submitting the application, available electronically at http://www.buildingequity.org/application.php. The Intake Team will review your credit history, current income and stated housing requirements. You should hear back about your initial application review within a week of submission. If the application meets an initial threshold analysis, you will be invited for an in person meeting to review your application in more detail and to discuss the range of options and associated costs that are likely to be available to you. You’ll also provide your income documentation at that time. The Intake Team will compile everything into a full application packet to submit to our Approval Committee. Due to the very high volume of application s we have been and are continuing to receive, this part of the process may take longer, as much as several weeks. Please be patient and stay focused on your goal of homeownership!

What if I am in an emergency situation?

If you are about to lose your housing and have a time sensitive need such as a lease running out in a few days, it is unlikely we are able to assist you in time. If, however, you are facing foreclosure, please do contact us and we will do our best to assist you. You should also contact your lender directly or you can try the FHA Secure program recently made available to address foreclosure at 1-800-225-5342 or http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page?_pageid=33,717446&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL If you need other immediate housing assistance please contact the Community Information Line by dialing 211 from any phone. This is a toll free number.

Can I get a “fixer” home and clean it up myself?

The house has to be habitable as is, i.e. needing no structural work. Cosmetic work such as painting and carpets is fine during the lease period but you should be careful in general about putting a lot of money into any property before you legally own it.

Can I use any realtor?

The program has trained realtors already whom we use to represent us in the search and transaction as Home For Good is the initial buyer. We are not currently accepting new realtors to represent us. If you have previously been working with a realtor, we are unfortunately unable to use her or him in our transactions should you enter our program

What cash or other commitment is required up front?

You pay last month’s lease payment plus the one time non refundable maintenance fee at the time you are ready to commit to a home and want us to make the offer to buy it. Once you find the home you want and we’ve okayed it, you’ll sign paperwork officially entering the program and we’ll sign the Purchase & Sale contract and make the offer on the home. You make the first month’s payment when you move in. We typically do not charge for a partial month if we are able to get possession of the home prior to the first of the month

How is the lease payment calculated?

We calculate your monthly lease payment based on: 1) the full monthly mortgage payment (which includes any principal and interest, property tax, insurance and mortgage insurance), plus; 2) any homeowner association dues, plus; 3) any additional hazard insurance the lender may require for condos (not relevant to single family homes) to cover the gap between the HOA master insurance policy and the renter’s insurance you’d carry for your possessions, plus; 4) the agency’s $75/month program fee.

How much, if any, of my lease payment goes towards the purchase of the home?

All of your monthly lease payment, except for the $75 processing fee, is passed directly through to pay for the above described bills on the home. Should you follow through on the program’s intent and exercise your option to purchase the home and qualify at that time to do so, the mortgage loan we have in place will be assumable. If you chose to assume that existing mortgage (rather than refinance or take out some other new loan) then the loan will be transferred fully into your name after having been paid by us, with your payments funds, for however months you were in the program prior to assumption. So, for example, if you use the full two years available to you in the program, you would assume the mortgage at month 25, with 24 months behind you or under your belt, so to speak. The net effect therefore is that your lease payments (excluding the HOA dues, additional hazard insurance, and $75 monthly processing fee) have been fully converted into mortgage payments, which is a significant benefit. However, just a reminder that this only occurs if you exercise the option to purchase and retain the assumable mortgage. If you do not exercise the option to purchase, none of your lease payments will be returned to you in anyway nor can they be transferred to a new property or a new loan.