116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — A homeowner resources workshop this Saturday will offer information to Cedar Rapids residents about assistance available to people wanting to buy or renovate a home.
The workshop will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Horizons Family Services, 819 Fifth St. SE. It will provide information about programs to help with down payments and closing costs, on how to repair or update a home and how to avoid foreclosure.
Four entities — Habitat for Humanity, Horizons, Iowa Legal Aid, Neighborhood Finance Corp. and Oak Hill Jackson Neighborhood Association — are teaming up for the workshop.
Oak Hill Jackson and much of the core of Cedar Rapids is within the Neighborhood Finance Corp.’s lending area.
Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity has long built homes in the neighborhood, most recently on 15th Street SE and 16th Street SE.
Both organizations use Horizon’s Financial Wellness Center to offer homebuyer education. Iowa Legal Aid provides information about handling disputes with contractors and COVID-19 mortgage relief programs.
The workshop will offer three sessions taught by experts from the four organizations, with a question-and-answer portion during each session. Attendees may attend one, two or all three presentations:
- How to buy a home: Session covers budgeting, pros and cons of owning a home, how to begin the home buying process, the role of real estate agents, for sale by owner options, and buying on contract.
- How to maintain a home: Learn about regular home maintenance and repairs, available home repair programs, home warranties, legal issues with contractors, city codes for homeowners, benefits of neighborhood associations, and mortgage assistance, including COVID-19 relief funds.
- Understanding your mortgage: Session covers fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgages, escrow, insurance coverage, private mortgage insurance, monthly or biweekly mortgage payments, differences between mortgage lenders and mortgage servicers, refinancing, loss mitigation and foreclosure.
The Neighborhood Finance Corp. has increased its maximum forgivable loan amount to $15,000, a change that Dorothy de Souza Guedes, president of the Oak Hill Jackson Neighborhood Association, said prompted her to spread the word to those living in Cedar Rapids.
“Homeownership is the American dream,” said de Souza Guedes, a member of Neighborhood Finance Corp.’s Cedar Rapids Advisory Committee. “With these programs, owning a home can become a reality for Cedar Rapids’ young working families, recent college grads or single parents. I also like the idea that older residents can make repairs that keep them safe in their homes for as long as they want to live there.”
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