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Homeownership 101: What Habitat families learn about owning

matt haugen
Posted by matt haugen on 12:39 PM on August 12, 2013

CAPE_FAMILY_class_sqTwin Cities Habitat for Humanity believes in being good stewards of our volunteers' time, our donors' gifts, and our homeowners' investments. One of the ways we do this is by training prospective homeowners for success.

TCHFH understands that families who have never owned a home can find homeownership overwhelming. We know it can be difficult to know how to handle the new financial responsibilities or how those responsibilities can impact other areas of the family’s financial life. We understand it can be challenging to learn about home maintenance and repairs and home safety issues. We know it can even been daunting to become part of a new community of neighbors. That's why we prepare homebuyers for dealing with all these issues by requiring them to attend trainings. 

Below is a list of trainings every homebuyer must attend:

Habitat for Humanity: A Lifetime of Partnership provides an organizational overview to Habitat for Humanity and answers questions about the entire process of buying a home with Habitat from start to finish, including sweat equity, trainings, and post-purchase support. 

Habitat for Humanity: A Long Term Financial Commitment provides an overview of the financial commitment of owning a home. This session is designed to answer questions about homeownership costs and the financial requirements of partnering with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.

Financial Fitness I and II teach budgeting and sound spending decisions as key to successful home ownership. Prospective homebuyers will learn how to develop a realistic budget that fits their lifestyle, how to improve or maintain credit ratings, how to avoid the pitfalls of credit cards and other high-interest loans, and ways of stretching income to meet monthly and unexpected expenses when they arise. Attendees will also cover a variety of topics related to long-term financial planning.

My Place Series discusses topics related to becoming a successful and effective member of a new community and block. Information covered includes city ordinances regarding they physical property, neighborly conduct, block club information, conflict resolution, and safety information about protecting your home and family. During this series prospective homebuyers also learn about the Neighborhood Family Partner program, the importance of “Sharing your Story” and how to become engaged in your community. 

Cape_Family_in_class_smPlanning Home Repairs teaches first-time homebuyers about maintenance issues such as plumbing, electrical work, seasonal maintenance, and basic home repairs. This class is intended to help families become more self-sufficient in caring for their new house.

Warranties and Emergencies discusses warranty issues and who to call when about a home maintenance related problem.

Lawn Care and Landscaping teaches practical tips on lawn care, planting and maintaining flowers, shrubs, trees or a garden. Homebuyers also learn about the importance of maintaining the yard and maintaining the appearance of their home.

Home Safety training looks at common household products that can be a danger to family members, big and small, along with information about lead poisoning, fire safety and instructions from the Poison Control Center. This class also discusses crime prevention in the family’s new neighborhood. 

Financial Fitness III: Mortgages and Ownership prepares prospective homebuyers to be a new homeowners by explaining mortgage documents, utility transfers and the Twin Cities Habitat warranty policy. It also introduces them to the new financial responsibilities they will have as a homeowner such as property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. 

Living in an Association training explains the unique benefits and responsibilities of owning a home in an association. Homebuyers will learn why their home is in an association and some key terms that they should know as they explore the documents that govern their association. This training will also include discussion and activities centered on the responsibilities and roles of members in a community association. 

A Conversation with Habitat Homeowners is a panel discussion with current Habitat Homeowners. This is an opportunity for you to ask homeowners about their experiences and any questions you may have about homeownership.

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