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Survey Finds Three of Four People Say Buying a Home Is Complicated

Housing Counseling from Local Nonprofit Helps Cut Through Confusion

Christiansburg, Va. – With a new national survey showing that three out of four people think that buying a home is a complicated process, Community Housing Partners (CHP) is encouraging consumers to seek advice from a professional housing coach before consulting other sources. CHP 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.

Despite 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 coach.

“This means we have a lot of work to do to inform the public about what CHP has to offer to help make homeownership achievable in the long run,” said CHP Director of Homeownership Kamilia Lawson. “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.”

CHP’s certified homeownership team helps ensure a successful homeownership experience for its customers by working with them from the beginning of the buying process all the way to the end—and beyond. Comprehensive services include homebuyer education classes, one-on-one coaching, and access to down-payment and closing-cost loans and below-market-rate mortgage financing—all designed to give customers the knowledge and confidence to buy and maintain a home.

Homeownership is a widely held goal, according to the survey, and helping people achieve that dream is a major part of what CHP 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:

  1. A study conducted earlier this year for NeighborWorks America found that consumers who received housing coaching and education from CHP and others in the NeighborWorks network were significantly less likely to become seriously delinquent on their mortgages two years later.
  2. Buying a home is an expensive proposition, and housing coaches can connect consumers with available down-payment assistance programs that reduce the initial cost of homeownership.
  3. Housing coaches at CHP work with a homebuyer through every step of the process, including offering unbiased information about mortgage products and neighborhoods.

“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. CHP is serving as that resource, helping Virginia and Florida residents live in affordable homes.”

The nationally representative telephone survey of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted for NeighborWorks America by Widmeyer Communications, a Finn Partners Company, September 23-26.  For more information on the survey, go to nw.org/HousingSurvey.   To learn more about CHP’s homebuyer education courses, email ownahome@chpc2.org.

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.

About Community Housing Partners
Community Housing Partners (CHP) is a 501(c)(3) community development corporation established in 1975 to serve the needs of low-income  and low-wealth individuals in the Southeast. Our mission is to create affordable, green, sustainable housing opportunities and services for the people and communities we serve. CHP's activities include real estate development, architectural design, construction, energy contracting and training, asset management, property management, realty and homeownership, and comprehensive resident services.  We are a chartered member of NeighborWorks America, and a member of both the Housing Partnership Network and the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises (FAHE). To learn more about CHP, visit www.communityhousingpartners.org.