Frequently Asked Questions
You have questions? We have answers.
- How do I apply for the NHBA program and what would disqualify me?
- Does NHBA conduct business through seminars?
- Can I buy a home if I’m on a fixed income?
- I am self employed, can you help me purchase a home?
- Do I have to live in a certain area or buy a home off of a list that NHBA owns?
- Are there any homes that I cannot purchase?
- When can I begin looking for a home?
- How long does the program take to complete?
- If I cannot purchase right away what are my housing options?
- I am thinking about using a debt management program, will this help me purchase a home?
- How does NHBA help people with credit challenges?
- How much does it cost to purchase a home in the NHBA program?
- I am a veteran, can I use my VA certificate of eligibility in the NHBA program?
- What price will I pay for my home?
- What is the first step?
- Will a bankruptcy disqualify me from the program?
1 - HOW DO I APPLY FOR THE NHBA PROGRAM AND WHAT WOULD DISQUALIFY ME?
To apply you must set an appointment at your local office. The application fee is $100 per applicant. There are no restrictions on income or the areas where you can live. What NHBA is trying to determine is whether you would be able to purchase a home in the program in 24-months or less with our help. About 80% of applications are accepted and the most common reasons for an application to be declined are a foreclosure within the preceding 12-months, or current monthly debt payments which exceed 27% of your income. If you are not accepted your application fee is refunded in full.
2 - DOES NHBA CONDUCT BUSINESS THROUGH SEMINARS?
No we don’t conduct business through seminars….your meeting is one on one with a local representative. Although there are some legitimate companies that use seminar style meetings, many companies use hotel conference facilities and then leave town after the weekend never to be seen again.
3 - CAN I BUY A HOME IF I’M ON A FIXED INCOME?
If you bring in enough money to pay rent then you could be making a house payment. If you are still concerned about having a low qualifying amount you may want to apply with another person such as a friend or family member so that your incomes can be combined allowing you to purchase more of a home. Although it is not a requirement you and another person could purchase a two-flat or duplex.
4 - I AM SELF EMPLOYED, CAN YOU HELP ME PURCHASE A HOME?
Being self employed does not prevent you from purchasing a home. Most conforming loan programs (FHA, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) will require that you have 2-1/2 to 3 years of experience and can document your income with tax returns or through bank statements. If you are interested in the second option then it is important that you deposit all business revenue so you can document your cash flow.
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5 - DO I HAVE TO LIVE IN A CERTAIN AREA OR BUY A HOME OFF OF A LIST THAT NHBA OWNS?
No, with the NHBA program you can live anywhere you want! Even better you pick the house from those on the market where you want to live; we don’t make you choose a house from a list of ugly houses. Many companies buy a home and then hope that you will like it. We let you pick a house that you like and then we negotiate with the seller to get it.
6 - ARE THERE ANY HOMES THAT I CANNOT PURCHASE?
Yes, there are certain homes that cannot be purchased through the NHBA program and most are listed below.
- Build Job. To build you own home you need a construction loan which generally requires perfect credit and a large down payment. New homes which are already built can be purchased in the NHBA program.
- Mobile Homes. Most mobile homes have a car title and many lending programs either will not finance them or place so many restrictions as to make it impossible.
- Pre-Foreclosures. A property is pre-foreclosure if it hasn’t been through the judicial process or auction. To purchase a property at the auction you must be able to pay the entire balance within a few days which is impossible using a mortgage loan. If the property is not purchased at auction then it goes back to the bank as a REO which can be purchased in the NHBA program.
7 - WHEN CAN I BEGIN LOOKING FOR A HOME?
Once your file has been reviewed by the lender you can begin looking for homes. This process is usually completed in the first 3-6 weeks of the program. It is necessary that your file be reviewed by the lender because we must know when you can purchase, how much you can purchase, and what must be resolved so will be eligible for financing at or before the end of your lease. To look for a home without knowing the above information is very risky and could result in you losing the home.
8 - HOW LONG DOES THE PROGRAM TAKE TO COMPLETE?
The NHBA program generally takes from 6 to 24 months before you will be able to purchase your home. During this period NHBA will be working with you and you have the option of renting the home that you will purchase.
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9 - IF I CANNOT PURCHASE RIGHT AWAY WHAT ARE MY HOUSING OPTIONS?
If the lender determines that you cannot purchase a home immediately then you have the following housing options.
Leasing with the Option to Purchase. This option allows you to live in a home as a renter and then purchase it once we have completed the steps for financing as outlined by the lender. At the time you purchase NHBA covers your administrative closing costs.
Leasing with No Option to Purchase. This option allows you to continue renting your current dwelling or rent any other dwelling available. When we have completed the steps for financing as outlined by the lender you will be referred by NHBA to an approved real estate agent who will help you find a home. At the time you purchase NHBA covers your administrative closing costs.
10 - I AM THINKING ABOUT USING A DEBT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM, WILL THIS HELP ME PURCHASE A HOME?
A Debt Management Program (DMP) is a company that offers to get creditors off of your back and lower the interest rates on your credit cards. They collect a payment from you each time you are paid and then distribute that money to your creditors monthly. For the purposes of purchasing a home you may want to consider alternatives to a DMP. First, for the purposes of purchasing a home a DMP is treated exactly the same as if you had filed a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, however you get none of the benefits of bankruptcy. That is you would have to participate in the DMP for a minimum of 12-months and have made all your payments in a timely manner before you could purchase a home (same as Chapter 13 Bankruptcy) but you will not get the breaks and protections afforded those in bankruptcy such as setoffs, discounts, and complete discharge of certain debts. Finally, most DMP’s work only with credit card and other consumer credit debts and usually will not help you with broken leases, utility bills, medical bills, judgments, tax liens etc. The end result of working with a DMP is that you have only paid off some of your debts and often you are no closer to purchasing a home.
11 - HOW DOES NHBA HELP PEOPLE WITH CREDIT CHALLENGES?
The NHBA program is a perfect fit for folks with credit challenges for three reasons. First, and most importantly, we figure out exactly what has to be resolved for you to obtain your loan. To accomplish this we have a national lender pre-underwrite your file. That is, people who do home loans for a living tell us what has to be resolved for you to get a loan. This is extremely important because often times you do not have to resolve all the credit issues. Next, NHBA client representatives assist you in completing the steps outlined by the lender and work to restore your credit and financial situation. While we are completing these steps you can rent a home that you want to buy. Finally, in the NHBA program your closing costs are covered. How could it be simpler or more effective?
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12 - HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO PURCHASE A HOME IN THE NHBA PROGRAM?
The fee to purchase a home in the NHBA program is based upon your monthly income, so every person's amount is different. One thing is certain, it would cost you twice as much to purchase a home through a bank or mortgage company. The savings are even more dramatic when you calculate the money saved through budgeting and credit counseling. NHBA client reps are professionals at removing, improving, and settling debts. Finally, when you consider in that NHBA helps cover your closing costs it is impossible to get a better deal. The closing costs alone are often twice what you will have paid to NHBA. From an economic standpoint you could not get a better deal even if you did all the work yourself.
13 - I AM A VETERAN, CAN I USE MY VA CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY IN THE NHBA PROGRAM?
Yes. The main benefit of a VA Certificate of Eligibility (VA Form 26-1880) is that you can purchase a home with little or no money for down payment. Before you can use a VA certificate you must meet the employment, income and credit standards to obtain a VA loan which are basically the same as FHA. So if you have some credit issues you can’t use the certificate until you get them resolved and qualify for your mortgage. Finally, VA requires that allowances be made for monthly household budget items which often results in a lower qualifying amount. That is, you generally can’t purchase as much home with VA as you could with FHA. Finally, the certificate is good for life….so if you don’t or can’t use it now then you can use it later on your next home.
14 - WHAT PRICE WILL I PAY FOR MY HOME?
You will purchase the home for its appraised value as determined by a licensed appraiser chosen by the lender who provides your loan. NHBA will negotiate to purchase the house for no more than 94% of that value. The 6% difference is used to cover your closing costs.
15 - WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP?
The first step is to apply and see if you are qualified for the program. The application fee is $100 per applicant and there are no restrictions on income or the areas where you can live. What NHBA is trying to determine is whether you would be able to purchase a home in the program in 24-months or less with our help. About 80% of applications are accepted and the most common reasons for an application to be declined are recent foreclosure or current monthly debt payments which exceed 27% of your income. If you are not accepted your application fee is refunded in full.
16 - WILL A BANKRUPTCY DISQUALIFY ME FROM THE PROGRAM?
A bankruptcy is very common these days and will not disqualify you from the program. Many lending programs like FHA, VA and RDA allow a person to purchase a home just 1-year after filing (BK13) or 2-years after discharging (BK7) a bankruptcy as the case may be.
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