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Homeless Rebuild Their Dreams on Affordable Homes, Solid Credit Scores

By Sally Maison
Published: Friday, December 25th, 2009

Having a home is very important for a young couple or a family, but many are forced to rent because they lack the means to buy their own place. Mortgage financing and a high credit score are just some of the things homebuyers direly need, especially in tough economic times. Fortunately, many residents in Brazos Valley and nearby areas are able to have their own home because of an agency that provides housing assistance. Potential homeowners are not only taught how to make right purchasing decisions, they are also taught how to manage their finances and credit ratings wisely.

Homeless Rebuild Their Dreams on Affordable Homes, Solid Credit ScoresThe Brazos Valley Affordable Housing Corporation helps residents with counseling, down payments, or newly constructed homes through a home consortia program. Ben Fortner, the agency’s vice president, said they help in educating potential homebuyers about credit ratings, mortgages, and other financial aspects of buying a house.

Qualified families or buyers can avail the agency’s $7,500 down payment aid and will also be given assistance in getting the $8,500 federal tax cut for first time homebuyers. To qualify, a single person must not make more than $29,100 while a family of four should earn $41,900 or lower. Fortner encourages apartment tenants to consider buying their own home since he believes rent payment could be costlier than mortgage payment. He explained that rent could go up every ten years while a mortgage rate could remain fixed for 30 years. He also tells consumers that they could perform better academically and professionally if they have a house that gives them the feeling of stability and strength.

Industry specialists say people who are planning to buy a house in the next few months must prepare themselves in order to be successful. They note that the lending criteria has become much tighter and banks are setting higher credit score requirements. Experts remind consumers that debt plays a huge role in their purchases, advising them to pay their debts off and improve their credit rating before going to a creditor. They further commented that it could take a family six months or longer before they are able to buy their house.

In Brazos Valley, high school students also play their part in helping residents rebuild their dreams. Brenham High School has constructed six houses over the past six years; all of them were helped built by high school kids. Fortner remarked that some students work so well that contractors offer them summer jobs.

Efforts in providing affordable homes are spread throughout the county as homeowners continue to attend credit score and financial management workshops.

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