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Perspectives Blog

It's Not About Getting People Into Homes. It's About Keeping Them There.

March 2, 2016

Jeffery Hayward

With over 1,000 borrowers completing homebuyer education since we rolled out HomeReady® mortgage, we’re off to a great start in making sure people get a mortgage they can afford for the long-term.

HomeReady mortgage was designed with great thought and care.

We wanted to help low- and moderate- income, minority, and millennial generation creditworthy borrowers qualify for a mortgage. But, equally important, we wanted them to be better prepared – to have the knowledge and resources for long-term success.

In developing HomeReady requirements, we recognized the long-term success of loans originated and serviced by Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs). HFAs know their borrowers. They work in their communities. It’s a “high touch” service model that includes education about credit and homeownership. And they’re still in the community and available if the borrower starts to struggle.

It’s a model that’s been shown to work. And one we replicated in HomeReady. To qualify for HomeReady, borrowers take an online course designed by industry experts at Framework. This online education guides borrowers step-by-step through the complexities of buying and owning a home. It’s interactive, intuitive, and can be completed on a smart phone in both English and Spanish. They also have access to HUD-approved housing counselors should they need help in the future.

It’s a small investment with positive returns. The course takes a few hours, but it’s engaging and helpful. Borrowers like Phil Sajn of Munster, IN, say the time is “well spent” since it lowered his interest rate and monthly mortgage payment. “I can’t say enough about how much that helped,” says the new condo owner.

He’s not alone. So far, the results are very positive. Ninety-two percent of people who completed the course say they have increased their understanding of the home buying process. And more than 4 out of 5 say they would recommend the course to a friend.

Some already are. “My brother is thinking about buying a home and I’ve already told him about HomeReady and Framework,” says Sajn.

So we’ve helped over 1,000 borrowers get better prepared for homeownership, but we’re not stopping there. This is an important achievement, but we expect to help thousands more.

Plus, we want people to take advantage of housing counselors and think of them as “advisors.” These are trained professionals who work with homebuyers and homeowners – making sure people get the advice they need. So they can get a home ... and keep it.

Jeff Hayward
Executive Vice President, Multifamily

March 2, 2016