Story of The Week 12/16/2016

Knowledge is Power!

By Mariel Brown-Fallon, Home Education Coordinator at Champlain Housing Trust

For most people, the idea of buying a home can be s cary. With so many moving parts—and what seems like an infinite number of experts that you have to rely on to get successfully through the process—it can seem intimidating, daunting, and really, really expensive. In Champlain Housing Trust’s Homebuyer Education class, CHT is able to give people all of the tools and information that they need to go out and make effective, informed decisions at every stage of their home buying journey.

This past weekend, I helped to teach a class of 14 prospective home buyers in Saint Albans about credit, lending, and how to grapple with the advantages and disadvantages that go along with being a home owner. For most, a straight-forward, comprehensive explanation of credit and financial literacy tools are all folks need to feel empowered and inspired to believe that they too can achieve the goal of home ownership. Giving people the information they need to navigate the financial world and avoid those who don’t play fair can make a huge difference in people's home ownership trajectories. More specifically, taking some form of pre-purchase education makes home owners about 70% less likely to experience delinquency or foreclosure over the life of their mortgage.

One of the best parts of teaching these classes is experiencing the gratitude that people have after completing the courses—and this weekend was particularly special. After teaching my portion of the class, one couple came to thank me, said that they had met during their AmeriCorps service 10 years prior, and were excited about the possibility of buying a home with CHT. I told them I was happy to give back to former members, because I know down the line I will come into contact with members who will help me.

VHCB AmeriCorps is a program of the
Vermont Housing & Conservation Board.

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