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Gateway to ownership

Gateway to ownership

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tulare county – Homeownership is a dream most families share. It’s also one of the most important decisions and the largest purchase families are likely to make. To help families navigate housing options and turn this dream into a reality, Self-Help Enterprises, a HUD certified counseling agency, has launched The Gateway: Your Path to Homeownership Program.

Serving as a “one-stop” for families looking to start their housing search or to access one of Self-Help Enterprises’ homeownership programs, Self-Help Enterprises’ homeownership counselors will help homebuyers and families obtain an understanding of the process, ask smarter questions, and make better informed decisions. A tailored action plan will then be developed to assist families in achieving their financialhomeownership goals. Individuals and families will participate in an in-person or online homeownership education class, available in English and Spanish. The homeownership education course covers key topics including: importance of credit, mortgage process, working with a realtor, the purchase process, mortgage and down payment assistance programs and affordable housing opportunities. To date, Self-Help Enterprises’ housing programs has resulted in successful homeownership for over 24,000 hardworking families.

Leon Romanazzi, Manger of Homeownership Counsel and Education Program said, “ Our main purpose is to prepare people to own and continue to own their home for as long as they want or need. Our goal is to assist individuals and families in being prepared, provide them with the knowledge, information and education to become a homeowner.”

An initial counseling appointment will be scheduled and a $50 fee will reserve the appointment. The fee covers a credit report and a portion of the homeownership education class fee. Upon completing an intake form, providing requested documents, and attending the counseling appointment, homebuyers will be enrolled in the homeownership education class. For an in-person Homebuyer Education Course, the cost is $75 for an individual and $25 for each additional borrower on a loan. The cost of the Online Homebuyer Education Course is $99 for individual or married couple, while the individual counseling fee for individual or married couple is $50. A credit report fee for one-on-one counseling is $15.75 for an individual and $22.75 for married couple.

To get started, prospective homebuyers will need to contact Self-Help Enterprises via 559- 651-1000 or via email at gateway@selfhelpenterprises.org.

Self-Help Enterprises is also working on a virtual counseling network program. While working with other organizations in the San Joaquin Valley, they hope to expand the program to allow individuals to sit and speak to their counselor over the internet, which will allow the program to expand and be more convenient for customers.

As part of the Gateway Program, Self-Help Enterprises partners with local municipal governments, realtors and mortgage lenders in an effort to provide a range of homeownership opportunities for families residing in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Stanislaus and Tulare County. Self-Help Enterprises’ housing programs include: First-Time Homebuyer: resources and down payment assistance for families looking to become homeowners through traditional avenues, Build Your Own Home: Eight to twelve families are grouped together and help each other build their houses with skilled onsite supervision and guidance of Self-Help Enterprises’ construction staff, “Sweat equity” serves as the down payment and monthly mortgage payment is based on the household’s income and Manufactured Housing: Assistance to eligible, first-time homebuyers in purchasing manufactured housing units.

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