10 steps to buying an affordable home

Are you thinking of taking the plunge into homeownership? The Midtown Redevelopment Authority (MRA), the Center for Civic and Public Policy Improvement (CCPPI), and the Houston Area Urban League (HAUL) can help.

Step 1: Stop by HAUL – Everyone who buys a home through the MRA/CCPPI affordable housing program must complete HAUL’s homebuyer education course. Housing counselors will guide you in the right direction and be by your side for the rest of the steps.

Step 2: Assemble financial information – For most peoplebuying a home is the biggest purchase of their life. You must be able to show you can afford it, which means preparing a detailed accounting of your liquid assets, savings, income, benefits, and retirement funds. This comprehensive financial overview will help HAUL determine if there are gaps to fill.

Step 3: Attend HAUL’s homebuyer orientation session – In this one-hour session, you will gain a fundamental understanding of the homebuying process and learn about the protections offered by the Fair Housing Act.

Step 4: Get enrolled in HAUL’s homebuyer workshops – HAUL offers a series of informative homebuyer workshops conducted in two-hour group sessions:

  1. Loan officer workshop: Get insights into the lending process, including what it involves, who the key professionals are, and how to secure financing for your new home.
  2. Insurance and realtor workshop: Learn about the importance of property protection from an insurance agent and understand how to find the right home with guidance from a realtor.
  3. Housing inspector workshop: Discover how to assess the condition of a property to protect your interests and make informed decisions.

Step 5: Individual counseling – During an individual session, HAUL counselors will review your paperwork, discuss your buying timeline, and explore your preferences, including the type of home you want. This session will also delve deeper into your financials, including a credit evaluation and budget analysis to clarify your purchasing power.

Step 6: Make informed decisions – This is when you decide if you are ready for homeownership. You will address surprises in your credit file and consider adjustments in your spending to accommodate the extra costs associated with buying a home. Be prepared that there is often a big gap between the type of home you as a buyer want and what you can afford, especially considering the current market.

Step 7: Complete the homebuying class – Upon completing the homebuyer class, you will receive a certificate and personalized recommendations. These recommendations will cover budgeting and money management.

Step 8: Find a lending partner and realtor – With a homebuyer class completion certificate, you are ready to search for a lending partner and a realtor. Many clients also seek additional assistance with down payments and closing costs.

Step 9: Sign the papers – Once you have found the home of your dreams, it is time to close the deal. HAUL, your realtor, and lender will guide you through this to ensure everything is in order.

Step 10: Move in day – You made it to the finish line!

Even after the homebuying process is over, HAUL will be there as an ongoing resource, ready to assist with any inquiries or challenges.

Affordable homeownership is within reach. With these steps, you can approach it with confidence. Find more about the MRA/CCPPI affordable housing program and meet our builders here.