Advantages of working with a HUD-approved Housing Counselor
Home ownership in RVA is extremely affordable. However, the home buying process can be difficult – even if you’re buying your third home.
This is a major financial decision, and it’s important that you seek personalized advice from competent professionals before you purchase a home. A HUD-approved housing counselor is here help you make responsible choices.
Some common challenges for homebuyers and home owners are understanding financing options, searching for a home, preventing the threat of foreclosure, and much more. Whether you’re choosing between buying and renting, or managing your credit, a housing counselor can assist you and help you avoid costly mistakes.
Why is housing counseling important in all stages of homeownership?
A HUD-approved housing counselor will:
- Help you make a budget. Because budgeting is a way stay current on your mortgage payments and avoid going in to foreclosure.
- Advise you on the available options if you’ve fallen behind on your mortgage payment.
- Help you determine if refinancing a reverse mortgage is right for you.
- Help you avoid scams
Before meeting a housing counselor, be sure to gather the following items:
- Driver’s license
- Documentation of your mortgage payments and bank statements
- Income-details, including federal tax returns and pay stubs.
- Monthly debt payments, including car loans, student loans, or credit card payments.
If you’re seeking guidance on avoiding foreclosure, you’ll need to bring a copy of your recent mortgage statements, copies of closing documents, as well as documentation of communications from your mortgage servicer.
Types of housing counseling services
A housing counselor will review your financial situation to determine if you’re ready to buy a home to avoid an expensive mistake.
A HUD-approved housing counselor will guide you on important steps after you’ve purchased your home, including updating your financial plan, managing credit, review of closing documents, and preventing foreclosure.
Foreclosure & Loss Mitigation
A counselor will walk you through the available options if your mortgage payment is no longer affordable to avoid foreclosure on your home. They will also mediate between you and your mortgage lender, and in some cases, create a personalized budget based on your credit, spending, and savings for a more financially secure future.
Renting A House
Not only do counselors help you with buying and maintaining home ownership, they can provide you with assistance in renting. As a matter of fact, they will walk you through the entire process! Some of the services include advising you on the application process, security deposits, rental assistance, moving expenses, and your finances.
Sometimes, you may find yourself in a bind. For example, you may be in need of place to live for a few months while you are in search of a new home. A housing counselor can also guide you through this process, and can assist anyone in need of transitional housing. This is an option rarely utilized by the RVA community.
Financial & Credit
Finally, a HUD-approved housing counselor will also be able to assist you by offering financial and credit advice. Your assigned counselor will assess your current financial and credit situation on order to help you set and maintain realistic financial goals.
VHDA Housing Counselor’s Are FREE
Remember, housing counseling is free if you’re seeking guidance on avoiding foreclosure. However, all other counseling services come with a reasonable fee. Getting started with a housing counselor is easy. Just find an HUD-approved housing counseling agency near you. Hint: VHDA offers HUD-approved housing counselors among other things!