Housing counseling from NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources helps cut through confusion
Rapid City , SD – A new national survey shows that the vast majority of adults think home ownership is important but the home-buying process is confusing. So, NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources (NWDHR) is encouraging consumers to seek advice from a professional housing counselor before consulting other sources. NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources is a part of the NeighborWorks network, a group of more than 235 nonprofit organizations supported by grants and technical assistance from NeighborWorks America, the Washington, DC-based nonprofit that commissioned the survey.
NeighborWorks Dakota Home Resources Homebuyer Counselor Vonda McCarty educates potential homebuyers of the home buying process during NWDHR’s monthly homebuyer education course. Classes are offered monthly in various locations.
Despite this widespread agreement that home-buying is challenging, the survey found that nearly four in 10 consumers seek advice on home buying and foreclosure prevention from friends and family first, before consulting with professionals. For example, when asked who they would consult first when considering purchasing a home, respondents cited real-estate agents only 15 percent of time, followed by mortgage lenders (9 percent). Most people seemed not to be aware of the existence of nonprofit, certified housing counselors.
“This means we have a lot of work to do to inform the public about what NWDHR has to offer to help make homeownership achievable in the long run,” said Executive Directory, Joy McCracken. “Friends and family offer invaluable emotional support and information, but they shouldn’t replace trusted, professional advisors who are current with all of the regulations and are trained to evaluate each person’s unique situation.”The nationally representative telephone survey of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted for NeighborWorks America by Widmeyer Communications, a Finn Partners Company, Sept. 23-26. Homeownership is a widely held goal, according to the survey, and helping people achieve that dream is a major part of what NWDHR does every day. In fact, the survey found that 77 percent of adults across the country have either not changed their view towards homeownership (67 percent) or changed it for the better (10 percent), even after the worst housing crisis in decades.
Among the reasons to consult a housing counselor first when considering homeownership are:
- A study conducted earlier this year for NeighborWorks America found that consumers who received housing counseling and education from NWDHR and others in the NeighborWorks network were significantly less likely to become seriously delinquent on their mortgages two years later.
- Buying a home is an expensive proposition, and housing counselors can connect consumers with available down-payment assistance programs that reduce the initial cost of homeownership.
- Housing counselors at NWDHR work with a homebuyer through every step of the process, including offering unbiased information about mortgage products and neighborhoods.
Since 1992, NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources has provided a variety of programs and services that has assisted 980 low-and moderate-income families with the purchase of their homes.
“This survey shows that homeownership is a goal many people want to achieve,” said NeighborWorks America CEO Eileen M. Fitzgerald. “But they need trusted advisors to help them navigate what can be a confusing process. NWDHR is serving as that resource, helping Western South Dakota residents live in affordable homes.”
For more information on NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources, go to www.neighborworksdhr.org For more information on the survey, go to nw.org/HousingSurvey.
About NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources: For 20 years NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources has been assisting in providing decent, safe and affordable housing and revitalizing neighborhoods for twenty years. The private nonprofit organization has helped more than 980 families realize their dream of homeownership.
About NeighborWorks® America: For 35 years, NeighborWorks America has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.