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May 23, 2016 • Mortgage

First Time Home Buyer Programs in Pittsburgh, PA

First time home buyers can request that their Real Estate Agents in Pittsburgh provide them with information on programs in the Pittsburgh area that can provide assistance and counseling through the home buying process. Homeowners who participate in such programs are less likely to end up in delinquency post purchase.

Pre-Purchase Counseling

There are several options for first time home buyers seeking assistance with buying a home in Pittsburgh. The following can be useful tools for Real Estate Agents in Pittsburgh to offer their potential buyers.

ACTION-Housing has a first time home buyers program which provides education, credit repair guidance, and document review. ACTION offers both an in person counseling service and online options (Framework). The pre-purchase advisement prepares the homeowner for the purchase and also helps them plan for money management in the future, to avoid delinquency. Steps include:

  1. Credit is reviewed and an action plan developed.
  2. Credit repair issues are addressed
  3. A savings plan is developed.

During the closing process, the advisor acts as a neutral 3rd party for document review. The first time homebuyer is provided with all of the knowledge and tools they need for a successful home purchase and subsequent home ownership.

Operation Home is another path to homeownership program. It consists of a general 8-hour workshop followed by one-on-one counseling, and is designed to help clients to transition from renter to homeowner.  The goals of the program are to provide low to moderate income first time homebuyers with information and education on financial literacy, budgeting and credit restoration. Steps include:

  1. Assessment of family housing needs;
  2. Eligibility for first time home buyer programs;
  3. Affordability analysis and financial planning for home buyers;
  4. The role of credit in home-buying and home ownership;
  5. Pre-qualification assistance;
  6. Developing an individual plan of action for the home-buying process;
  7. Credit analysis;
  8. Budgeting guidance;
  9. Loan review;
  10. Assistance with the closing process.

Real Estate Agents in Pittsburgh can provide information on either of these programs to potential first time buyers. Other potential sources of assistance include:

Statewide Home Buyer Assistance Programs

Options for financial assistance, including down payment and closing costs assistance, are available at several levels. The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency offers independent home buyer programs, including down payment and closing cost assistance; the Pennsylvania Affiliates of Habitat for Humanity uses volunteer labor to build and rehabilitate houses for families in need, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Housing offers home buyer programs in rural communities.

Real Estate Agents in Pittsburgh can be a valuable source of information for first time home buyers and should encourage the use of third party programs to ensure buyers are fully educated and prepared to take on the financial responsibilities that come with home ownership.

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