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Our Homeownership Services:
First Time Homebuyer Assistance/Financial Education

Pre-Purchase Homebuyer Counseling

People seek individual homebuyer counseling for many reasons.  Some of the people we counsel are renters trying to determine if homeownership is a realistic goal.  Other clients want help planning for homeownership as a medium or long-term goal.  Frequently clients have already begun the homebuying process but come in to learn about special, low-interest mortgages for first time homebuyers.  

The counseling sessions focus primarily on income, debt, credit and how best to help you achieve sustainable homeownership.   We examine a variety of homeownership options including single family homes, condominiums, multi-family homes and purchase and rehab loans.  We’ll discuss a menu of mortgage products with an emphasis on subsidized mortgages and down payment and closing cost assistance for income-eligible buyers.

What to bring to your appointment
To make the most of our discussion, please bring as much of the following as possible:

Income:

  • A recent pay-stub
  • Most recent year’s tax return
  • Child support figures
  • Social security figures
  • Part-time employment figures
  • Information about any other income source

Debt:

  • A recent bill for each credit card, store card or other household debt
  • Original loan documents for personal loans, car loans, and student loans (If you don’t have your original loan docs, check your account on-line for interest rates and student loan status.)
  • If you have a recent credit report, please bring the report along to our meeting. 

Who qualifies as a First Time Homebuyer?
You are considered a First Time Homebuyer if at least one of the following is true:

  • You have not owned a house in the past three years.
  • You are a single parent (even if you have owned recently).
  • You are a displaced homemaker (you were recently divorced and you were not the primary wage earner in your previous household).
  • You do not own a home on a permanent foundation (you own a mobile home).

Funding
Our counseling staff is often CDBG funded through the Cities of Northampton and Easthampton and the Town of Amherst.  We also receive contributions from banks to support our counseling program.  Our counseling services are therefore free to area residents but may from time to time be limited due to funding constraints.  

For 2012-2013, our First Time Home Buyer and Homeownership counseling programs are partially  funded by a a grant from Berkshire Bank, PeoplesBank and the Wells Fargo Foundation on behalf of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

Valley CDC has downpayment and closing cost assistance for low and moderate income first time homebuyers purchasing in Amherst and Northampton. Funding is provided through Community Development Block Grant funds from the Town of Amherst and the City of Northampton. 

For more information about homebuyer counseling, please contact Donna Cabana, Homeownership Counselor at 413-586-5855 x18 or dc@valleycdc.com.  

30 Market Street, Northampton, MA 01060 • 413-586-5855
2008 Valley Community Development Corporation

Equal Housing Opportunity
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