First-Time Homebuyer Frequently Asked Questions

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Creating Assets Saving & Hope
Hutchinson Area Homebuyers Club

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who is eligible for this program?

All first-time homebuyers are eligible, regardless of income.

What is a first-time homebuyer?

First-time homebuyer is defined as an individual who does not own or invest in another residence, wishes to purchase a home that will be his/her primary residence and meets any one of the following criteria: 1. An individual who has had no ownership in a residence for the previous three years; 2. A divorced or legally separated individual who has only owned a residence with a former spouse; or 3. An individual who has only owned a residence not permanently affixed to a permanent foundation.

What are the requirements for participants in this program?

Participants must complete the online homebuyer education through eHomeAmerica and a minimum of one counseling session to receive a certificate of completion. Additional counseling sessions are optional.

Is credit counseling available?

Yes, credit counseling is available for those in need of building or repairing credit. This one-on-one counseling includes credit report review, credit score evaluation, and debt management tools, along with strategic action steps for reaching financial goals.

Does this program have any fees?

Yes, there is a one time fee that participants must pay to eHomeAmerica to access the homebuyer education online class. After the class is completed, participants receive counseling from NeighborWorks certified counselor Alicia Marsh at no additional cost. The number of counseling sessions is determined by the needs of the participants, and has no predetermined limit.

When is the best time to start this program before buying a house?

Counseling is available at any point in the search for a first home. First-time homebuyers in need of credit repair or funds for down payment should start the program as early as possible. IHS recommends these participants plan to spend six months to a year preparing for homeownership. First-time homebuyers with established credit and savings for down payment who need guidance navigating the mortgage process may benefit from this program in as little as one to three months.