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Our Homeownership Services:

Sustaining Homeownership


Homebuyer Counseling
Potential homebuyers seek individual homebuyer counseling for many different reasons.  Some renters are looking for confirmation that renting continues to be the most suitable housing option for both their budgets and their goals.  Other renters want to begin planning for homeownership as a long-term goal.   Prospective homebuyers may seek homebuyer counseling as they are hoping to buy within the next year and they are eager to capture a relatively low-interest rate for their mortgage.

What is a Counseling Session Like?
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.

To make the most of our discussion, please bring a recent pay-stub or tax return if you’re self-employed.  Specific numbers for other incomes sources such as child support, social security or part-time employment are also helpful. Information on any household income that you expect to continue is useful.

For each household debt please bring a recent bill or write down the following:  overall balance owed, minimum monthly payment, interest rate(s) and, available credit balance for each credit card.  If you have a recent credit report, please bring the report along to our meeting.  If you have a personal loan, student loans and/or automobile loan(s), please review or bring along your original loan documents or check your account on-line for interest rate(s) and student loan status.

Sustainable Homeownership
Current homeowners in Valley CDC’s service area, who are having difficulty meeting their monthly payments or whose homes are in need of housing rehab are also welcome to use our individual counseling services.

Single parent homeowners are considered first time homebuyers under HUD’s first time homebuyer (fthb) definition.  This means that single parent homeowners who are selling a current home and repurchasing are eligible for subsidized mortgages, assuming that they meet income eligibility guidelines.   HUD’s fthb definition also includes displaced homemakers, such as divorcees who were not the primary wage earners in their former households.  The HUD fthb status also applies to households that have had a three-year lapse in homeownership and to homeowners whose homes are not on a permanent foundation.

Eligibility for Free Counseling
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. 

Valley CDC has downpayment and closing cost assistance for low and moderate income first time homebuyers purchasing in Amherst or Northampton.  (updated 11/12)

If you are interested in any of these services, please contact Donna Cabana at (413) 586-5855 x18, or send an email to dc@valleycdc.com

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

Equal Housing Opportunity
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