Are you a First Time Home Buyer ready to purchase your new home? If so, congratulations, you have made the first step by reading this blog. My name is Jenny Lopez-Martinez and I am a Financial and Housing Coach for Easter Seals Greater Houston. I would like to invite you to our virtual Homebuyers Education Classes where you will learn the tools needed to become a homeowner. We will discuss various ways to budget; every participant will receive a budget sheet at the end of session 1. The budget sheet is a tool used to help participants create and reach their financial goal. The class will also discuss the importance of having a savings especially if you are buying a home. The class will introduce the steps on how to pull your credit report, review your credit report and rebuild your credit. We will also review the mortgage loans products, the down payment assistance programs, and every participant will receive additional resources from Freddie Mac. This is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approve course and open to anyone who is ready to buy their first home. Since the classes are virtual, we are providing the classes in session 1 and session 2. At the end of session 2 or once both classes are completed, you will receive a certificate for your participation. We welcome you to learn more about and participate in our upcoming Homebuyer Education Classes.
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Jessica W., a single mother, became a Easter Seals Greater Houston client after Hurricane Harvey. She sought assistance after being flooded in the home she was renting. We provided assistance and helped her get back on her feet. About a year later, Jessica hit another rough patch; she was laid off from her job. Jessica became a Food Scholarship Program participant to help ease food costs, and started working more closely with a financial coach. Jessica found another job, and this time stayed with the program, working first to create a realistic budget, and then to build her credit. Eventually, Jessica was able to get her credit where it needed to be to buy a home. Then COVID-19 hit. Jessica was unable to attend our first Homebuyer Education Classes and she took another financial hit. Her dreams of buying a home were slipping away. However, with COVID-19 Funding we were able to prevent Jessica from falling behind. She was able to stay afloat and overcome the hardest financial impacts of COVID. On September 30th, Jessica was able to close on a home for her and her son. She is now saving money from what she was paying in rent.
We cannot thank the Greater Houston Community Foundation enough for its constant support of Easter Seals Greater Houston’s work and its role in the distribution of emergency funds after disasters. We could not help families like Jessica’s stay afloat, away from crisis, and towards their dreams with GHCF’s partnership. Thank you Greater Houston Community Foundation, and our amazing liaison, Stephanie Blair!
Clients attending Easter Seals Greater Houston’s Homebuyer Education Classes often ask what is the key to success in purchasing a home. As part of our curriculum, we go over the importance of credit, manageable debt, and household assets, but perhaps the answer is much more simple – PERSEVERANCE!!!
A few weeks ago, a single mother of six young daughters purchased a home in Montgomery County – her first home- after over a year and a half of working hard to improve her credit, paying down her debts, and increasing assets. This hardworking mother, Ashlee, took on a second job as a home health professional and began building up a savings account towards a down payment. On April 30, at 5:00 pm, she signed the closing disclosure, collected her keys, and walked out of closing as a homeowner. At times, her goal had seemed impossible, but she persevered and now she lives down the street from one of her clients and they are now making this house their HOME.
Katy Thorstenberg, Home of Your Own Montgomery County Home Fund Program, Easter Seals Greater Houston