Greensboro tenants can get house possession help
Greensboro’s attempt to turn tenants into first-time buyers has more than doubled its original goal. The # 100Homes campaign was renamed # 200Homes in June and the numbers continue to grow due to a unique collaboration.
It starts with a credit score. Building on this, the non-profit Housing Consultants Group (HCG) selects the candidates and guides them into specialized training: 8-hour financial education courses; 5-week budgeting and credit boot camps; one-year courses on individual development accounts; and more.
The collaboration extends to the city providing assistance with down payments and closing costs, and HCG offers housing advice.
Founder Sofia Crisp says the difficulty for many aspiring homeowners starts with how lenders qualify buyers: with gross income.
“We all know that we live on the net, not the gross,” says Crisp. “Even if they take into account what you can afford, it doesn’t take gasoline, food, childcare, and other things into account. That’s one of the things we really run into in class: make sure you understand when the lender says that if you qualify for 150, other things need to be considered. ”
Crisp warns that home ownership is not right for everyone – especially spontaneous donors. She says mortgage payments shouldn’t be more than 33% of gross monthly income. And being able to manage the finances with the money left over at the end of each month for emergencies, she says, is key.