Fort Collins – Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N), a Fort Collins/Loveland non-profit that helps families achieve homeownership, offers monthly certified home buyer education courses to meet the growing demand for consumer education – providing smart advice for home buyers before they purchase a home. Last year alone, over 300 homebuyers attended the courses. Register now for the December classes. This class meets the certificate requirements for CHFA, City of Fort Collins and Larimer County down payment assistance programs.
Research shows that homeowners who receive pre-purchase homeownership counseling are more than 30 percent less likely to default on their mortgage than homeowners who do not receive counseling. That’s especially significant in Colorado, which ranks with the fifth highest foreclosure rate in the nation, according to RealtyTrac. In the first quarter of 2008, one in 110 homeowner households was facing foreclosure.
Statistics compiled by NeighborWorks America confirm that:
- Participating in a homeownership education and counseling course can improve credit scores by an average of 60 points, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest fees over the course of a 30-year mortgage.
- Homeowners are 15 percent more likely to vote and be involved in their communities.
- A low-income homeowner will typically have a net worth 12 times that of a renter who earns the same amount of money.
N2N is a member of the national NeighborWorks® network, the nation’s largest force of certified homeownership educators who have counseled more than half a million homebuyers. N2N’s Home Buyer Education Coordinator, Deena Pettit, is certified by NeighborWorks® to provide pre-purchase counseling. Pettit also earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Colorado State University
“Consumers need to develop razor-sharp decision-making skills, especially before purchasing a home,” said Wendie Robinson, executive director, N2N. “Without access to quality information and guidance, many Larimer County residents may miss opportunities to get the most out of what is likely to be the biggest investment of their lives, or worse, fall into mortgage traps that eventually lead to foreclosure and financial ruin.”
Attendees who complete N2N’s one-session class leave as educated, savvy consumers prepared to become stable homeowners, receive a National Foundation for Credit Counseling “KEYS to Home Ownership” certificate of achievement and are certified by the Colorado Housing Finance Authority to access local down payment assistance programs that provide thousands of dollars toward homeownership to qualified buyers.
Classes cover topics including tips for budgeting and saving for down payment, establishing and maintaining good credit, shopping for a loan, negotiating the price of home, and protecting your investment once you are a homeowner.
The next classes will be offered from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13 at the RE/Max Alliance office on Boardwalk and Harmony in Fort Collins and on Saturday Dec. 20 at The Ranch in Loveland.
Attendees may register to attend a class by visiting Neighbor to Neighbor’s Web site www.n2n.org or by calling (970) 663-4163. Classes are free; materials cost $5 and are available at the class.