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  • Owning a home has challenges many people do not consider until they have a home and mortgage of their own. Often, it is this very lack of information that causes homeowners to fall behind in their payments and lose their home to foreclosure. This article describes three programs available to Wisconsin residents which will help you find and keep a home.

    Home Buyer Education

    This free program trains potential homeowners to be home ready, that is, understand the ins and outs of home ownership in Wisconsin. This program is especially important nowadays because of the changes brought by new lending guidelines. Learn what lenders are looking at when they assess your loan application. Find out which loans provide the best terms and how to decide how much you can afford to pay for your new home. Discover what taxes, insurance and other housing expenses you will have to pay once you are a homeowner. You can also attend a free landlord counseling course which helps you understand the rights and responsibilities you will have if you rent a property or a section of your home. If you use a federal or state program to buy a two-unit home, you may be required to attend a landlord counseling session as well as a basic home buyer education course.

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    Free Counseling Program

    HUD sponsors hundreds of mortgage counseling agencies throughout the United States to help homeowners find help when they are facing foreclosure. These counselors can prove invaluable if you do not know what foreclosure avoidance programs you are eligible for and what you should do to qualify for them. You can find a list of certified counseling agencies in Wisconsin by clicking here. Note these counseling agencies will not charge you for their services nor try to sell you financial products they are invested in. Use these free counselors and avoid loan modification agents who require a payment for their services.

    Down Payment Assistance

    WHEDA, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority provides eligible Wisconsin residents who wish to buy their first home with a ten-year  loan of up to $3,000 to pay for the cost a home’s down payment. Down payments are on of the main reasons why people cannot afford a home. This program can be a great resource for households who have the necessary income to pay for a mortgage, but do not have the necessary savings to finance a down payment. The program provides a low interest and flexible eligibility requirements. The loan should only cost $34 a month for 10 years.

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