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Center offers home buyer course

February 2, 2012

The HomeOwnership Center in Elkins is offering a one-day Home Buyer Education course throughout 2012, with a special rate for the course from January through March.

HOC is offering a reduced rate of only $10 per family to take the course compared to the normal rate of $75. The Center wants to encourage attendance for the first quarter and, due to some limited available grant funding, is able to offer the course at a reduced rate for a period of time.

The eight-hour course was developed for NeighborWorks America members and meets the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling and the National Industry Code of Ethics and Conduct for Homeownership Professionals. It is based on the curriculum "Realizing the American Dream."

The content is broken down into six sections that educate the buyer on home ownership readiness and affordability; money and credit management; types of properties and financing available; purchase, mortgage, and closing processes; and home maintenance and financial management for post-purchase.

The classes are typically conducted in the Conference Room of the Randolph County Housing Authority for capacity purposes. Class is from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. HOC provides refreshments and lunch for the participants.

In addition to homebuyer education and counseling, HOC offers credit and budget counseling, loan origination and processing, step-by-step processing assistance from application to closing, assistance with other service providers (realtors, appraisers, inspectors, attorneys, etc.), post-purchase support, and financial fitness education.

HOC provides education, counseling and financing to low-to-moderate income families and first-time homebuyers, as well as a source of continuing support for existing homeowners. HOC's products and services are offered to consumers at all income levels.

The mission of HOC is to promote safe, affordable housing, focusing on sustainable homeownership, self-sufficiency, sound environments, healthy quality of life and communities that can sustain these values.

HomeOwnership Center Inc. is a private, non-profit housing counseling agency and equal housing lender providing home ownership opportunities to residents of Randolph and surrounding counties. As a non-profit licensed mortgage broker, HOC has access to several affordable mortgage loan products that can make the dream of home ownership a reality for many families.

HOC works with individuals at all income levels to provide home ownership education and counseling, credit and budget counseling, and access to mortgage financing options. The primary emphasis is on helping to simplify the complicated mortgage process for first-time homebuyers, to assist buyers in becoming mortgage-ready, and to make buyers more default-resistant.

HomeOwnership Center is a chartered member of NeighborWorks America - a nationwide network of 236 trained and certified community development organizations at work in more than 4,000 communities across America. Working in partnership with others, NeighborWorks organizations are leaders in strengthening communities and creating affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income families.

Through NeighborWorks America, HomeOwnership Center has access to financial resources, tools, training opportunities, and the experience of hundreds of colleagues from around the country who can help us make our communities a better place to live.

As a NeighborWorks organization, HomeOwnership Center is dedicated to building partnerships with individual families, neighborhood leaders, and others who care about and invest in our communities.

As a chartered member of NeighborWorks, HomeOwnership Center is certified to meet a high standard of fiscal integrity and service performance to assist local residents in developing leadership, improving their neighborhoods and securing decent affordable housing. In the last four years, HomeOwnership Center has helped more than 200 low and moderate-income families with their housing needs.

HOC is currently one of only two full-service NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Centers in West Virginia. HOC's service area includes Randolph, Barbour, Tucker, Upshur, Lewis, Pendleton, Pocahontas and Webster counties.

The Center's loan product sources include WV Housing Development Fund, Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises, USDA Rural Development, CommunityWorks in WV, leveraged loans with local lenders, and HOC revolving loan funds.

Types of financing available include purchase of newly constructed homes (permanent financing after construction), purchase of existing (market) homes, home repair/improvement, refinancing, down payment and closing costs.

The advantages of HOC financing and products include fixed rate financing, interest rates at or below market, low down payment and closing costs, and subsidies for qualified borrowers.

HOC participates in the Home Ownership Voucher Program, allowing qualified individuals receiving HUD rental assistance vouchers to use the vouchers toward a mortgage payment. HOC also has a financial fitness program to enhance financial skills among participants in its service area.

HOC is located at 1404 N. Randolph Ave., Elkins. Office hours are 8 a.m. 4:30 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. For more information, call 304-636-6495, ext. 17 or 27 or 15; or send faxes to 304-636-4125.

Send email to or or HOC's Web site is located at



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