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Our Homeownership Services

First Time
Homebuyer Assistance/Financial Education

First Time
Homebuyer Workshops

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Our Homeownership Services:

First Time Homebuyer Classes

To register for a First Time Homebuyer Workshop, or for more information, please contact Fern Selesnick, Homebuyer Education Coordinator at 413-586-5855 x16 or  

Click here to register/view the current SCHEDULE for our First Time Homebuyer Workshops. 

Our First Time Homebuyer Workshops provide a comprehensive overview of the homebuying process. The four part workshop covers the following:

Week 1

  • Who’s Who in the Homebuying Process
  • Advantages & Disadvantages of Homeownership
  • Homebuyer’s Roadmap
  • Budgeting
  • Credit

Week 2

  • Presentation by a local Realtor
  • Presentation by a local Mortgage Lender
  • First Time Homebuyer Loan Programs
  • How much do you qualify for?

Week 3

  • Presentation by a local Home Inspector
  • Presentation by a local Insurance Agent
  • Down Payment & Closing Cost Grants

Week 4

  • Presentation by the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center
  • Presentation by a local Real Estate Attorney
  • Post-purchase planning

Where and when is the class offered?
We offer the class every month at a different location, rotating between Easthampton, Northampton, Hadley & Amherst.  Each workshop series meets 4 times, once per week, from 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. (4 consecutive Tuesdays, for example).  Classes are always held on weekday evenings. Click here to register/view the current SCHEDULE for our First Time Homebuyer Workshops.

Who should take this class?
This class is open to anyone, regardless of where you live or work, whether or not you are a First Time Homebuyer.  The class is open to people at any stage of the process---a typical class includes people who are just starting to think about homeownership as well as one or two people who are closing on their home in a matter of weeks and need a certificate to secure their mortgage.  For those of you who are at the beginning stages of the process, the class gives you an opportunity to determine if you are ready to proceed with homeownership and to identify your next steps to prepare.  The class is a great way to learn about current loan programs as well as grants for closing costs and down payment assistance.

What does it mean that it is a “certified” class?
Our workshop is certified by the Citizens Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA), a statewide non-profit organization that works towards affordable housing and community development.  Because our workshop is CHAPA certified, income-eligible participants may apply for special First Time Homebuyer loans through participating lenders.  For example, participation in a CHAPA certified class enables you to apply for a SoftSecond mortgage, a MassHousing mortgage, and for down payment and closing cost grants.  The certificate is valid for two years.

How much does the class cost?
The class costs $50 per household. Couples who are not able for logistical reasons to take the class together in one month may take it in two separate months and only be charged once.  If you have any questions about this please contact Fern Selesnick at 413-586-5855 x16 or

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).

For more information, please contact Fern Selesnick, Homebuyer Education Coordinator  at 413-586-5855 x16 or

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

Equal Housing Opportunity
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