Quite some time ago I started what would have been a series entiteld Diary of a NACA Homebuyer: A Realtor's Tale Pt 1. The first, and only, blog post started like this:
"I have been an advocate of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) loan program for just over a year. For the life of me, I can't understand why trying to get clients to check out the NACA program is like offering a free root canal. At a time when mortgage loans are "slim pickings," if someone were offering me the opportunity to get a home loan with NO DOWN PAYMENT, NO CLOSING COSTS, NO FEES, NO PERFECT CREDIT REQUIREMENTS...and a below market interest rate, I would definitely check it out. SO, that's what I did."
Well, it seems I would have had a better chance at the free root canal. Don't get me wrong. Everything I initially liked about the NACA program is true. It's just not as easy to obtain as they make it seem in the orientation. Even for those who are diligent enough to stick with the program. There could be many reasons for this, including the ratio of prospective home buyers in the pipeline to NACA staff available to provide timely service. Determining the reason is beyond the scope of this blogger.
So, where do prospective first time buyers go from here? I have always been a firm believer that a great concept and a proven system can be replicated or serve as a model for an even better system. We've all heard there's more than one way to skin a cat (poor cat)! Well, there's more than one way to help aspiring home owners achieve the American Dream.
Being an innovator by nature, my partners and I have developed a plan through the National Housing Benefit Alliance to help prepare prospective buyers to purchase a home. The NHBA HomeBuyers Club (the CLUB) is a step-by-step program that offers an intense introduction to principles of financial literacy integrated with home buyer education. Our mission is to create an educated home buyer who practices sound financial principles beyond the closing table.
The CLUB targets low- to- moderate income families, in addition to Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Professional Educators (including School Nurses), Emergency Medical Services Personnel, and Corrections Officers. Through our partnerships with area non-profit organizations and real estate services professionals the HomeBuyers Club:
- Provides an in-depth course in homebuyer preparation.
- Provides high quality counseling.
- Refers buyers to high quality real estate services professionals.
- Assists buyers to access the best mortgages and down-payment assistance available.
- Seeks to raise the home ownership rates in Houston and surrounding areas.
- Remains involved with home buyers after they purchase and involves them in neighborhood improvement efforts.
To get started, prospective home buyers should attend a free 4-hour workshop offered monthly in the Houston area. Upon completion of the workshop those who become members of the CLUB are assigned a personal Housing Counselor. The Housing Counselor works with the member to develop a personalized plan for becoming a qualified home buyer.
For more information or to register for a workshop visit www.nhballiance.com or call 832-626-7738.