Hawaii HomeOwnership Center. What is it? Some fancy sounding homeowners club? An insurance company? Answers to those questions later…
More importantly, it is a tool, a resource that you should take advantage of, and by “you,” I mean all of you. You don’t have to own a home to join the Hawaii HomeOwnership Center. In fact, it’s actually to your advantage if you don’t own a home because after taking the initial 9 hours of homebuyers education (in-person or online!), and starting individualized coaching on your homeownership goals, you will know of resources with which to prepare to own your own home. You’ll leave every coaching session with an action plan to help you get closer to buying a home. The lifetime membership also includes refresher courses, post-purchase counseling, and other services.
“The Hawaii HomeOwnership Center will provide education, information and support to create successful first-time homeowners in Hawai’i. By addressing barriers and increasing rates of homeownership, the HomeOwnership Center aims to build stronger families and communities throughout the state of Hawai’i.” – The Hawaii HomeOwnerShip Center
Who Can Join?
While HHOC membership is open to anyone interested in joining, regardless of income, credit background, employment status, etc., the center does focus on reaching out to low-income families and others who feel that homeownership is out of reach. Home prices in Hawaii are some of the highest in the nation. With the median price of condos currently at $347,000 and a single family home median price of $671,00, many families automatically feel priced out of the market.
Additionally, once families do own homes their financial, employment, or family dynamics may change and bring about difficulty in paying a mortgage that was previously affordable. Foreclosure can be devastating and for many families this usually occurs when all options have been exhausted. Many families navigate the process of trying to avoid foreclosure themselves not realizing there are resources at their disposal to help them successfully avoid losing their homes. The HHOC is a HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) approved counseling agency.
“A study by the Urban Institute found that homeowners counseled by non-profit agencies like the Center who are contracted under the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program are 60 percent more likely to avoid foreclosure and have their mortgage payments lowered significantly than borrowers who navigate the process themselves.” – The Hawaii HomeOwnerShip Center
There is a free 1-hour orientation class that can be taken in person or online. Afterwards if you decide the services are for you, then the membership fee per household is a one time payment of $60 for a lifetime of counseling, services, and support. The fee is assessed per buying-unit (everyone anticipated to be part of the home purchase).
So to address my earlier questions:
Is it some fancy homebuyers club? Yes! (Minus the “fancy” part.) And you don’t need a home to become a member.
Is it an insurance company? I would say it is more of an assurance company than an insurance company – one of these is priceless.
Interested in Becoming a Member?
To personally assist in increasing homeownership rates here in Hawaii, I would like to offer three prospective buyers the chance of attaining their homeownership dream with a membership to the Hawaii HomeOwnership Center. Please contact me for details.