By PrincessSafiya Byers
Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service
This story was originally published by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, where you can find other stories reporting on fifteen city neighborhoods in Milwaukee. Visit milwaukeenns.org.
The road to home ownership can be long and confusing.
And the thought of it often keeps some people from trying to own.
We talked to Kelly Andrew, the chief development and marketing officer for ACTS Housing, to answer common questions.
What should potential homebuyers know before buying a home?
“Most people are closer to being ready to buy a home than they think,” Andrew said. “Don’t let the barriers stop you from starting the process.”
How many steps are there before someone can own a home?
Andrew said there are several steps that potential homeowners must take at ACTS Housing.
1. Homebuyer coaching/ Education: Where potential homebuyers learn about the process of homeownership and are made aware of what grants and other awards they are eligible for.
2. Lending: Where homebuyers get prequalified for a loan from a bank of their choice or through ACTS Housing.
3. Finding a home: When homebuyers find a real estate agent and start looking for a home. Most people must put in multiple offers before getting a house.
4. Rehab/move-in: The process of closing and moving into a home.
Is the process over once an offer is accepted?
“No. Most people think the process is over once an offer is accepted, but you still need to have necessary inspections done to be sure that the home is safe and certified to live in.”
Here are some other resources:
Social Development Commission can assist with lead, weatherization and other housing-related issues. You can call 414-906-2700.
Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council can help homeowners protect themselves from mortgage and foreclosure prevention scams as well as from predatory home loans. You can call 414-278-1240.
Housing Resources Inc. can provide counseling to homeowners and has programs to help people prevent foreclosure. You can call 414-461-6330.
ACTS Housing offers counseling and real estate agent representation to help low-income families transition from renting to homebuying. You can call (414) 933-2215.
Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee:
The Housing Authority’s Section 32 program offers guidance through the homebuying process and sells rehabilitated homes to low-income residents. The agency offers some grants and subsidies for down payment assistance and forgivable second mortgages for current HACM homeowners. You can call (414) 286-5405.
Bronzeville Resident Homeownership Initiative:
The Bronzeville Homebuyer Assistance Program provides forgivable loans up to $25,000 and technical assistance to help with property renovation needs for residents buying city-owned foreclosed homes in the Bronzeville Initiative area. You can call (414) 286-5608.
Common Ground-Milwaukee Rising:
Milwaukee Rising rehabilitates and sells foreclosed properties in the Sherman Park neighborhood. Matching grants of up to $5,000 are available for homeowners wanting to make repairs and improvements. Contact Bob Connolly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, or WHEDA, offers resources for homebuyers.