By Ysmerys Hiciano, Home Ownership Counselor

Operation HOPE’s First Time Home Buyers Workshops are more than just information sessions. Every HOPE Inside office affords individuals the resources and assistance to build their credit scores, opening the door to opportunities, like home ownership. My workshops are comprehensive, covering everything from budgeting and effectively managing expenses, to the importance of establishing a good credit score. This includes anything that affects the home buying process such as acquiring loans, house hunting, hiring a house inspector, and closing costs.

This past Saturday, my students were filled with hope and inspiration following another successful First Time Homebuyers Workshop. As always, attendees had tons of questions regarding the program. I invited a lender from Obsidian Financial Services, Mr. Raul Jimenez, to discuss programs like FHA, for down payment assistance, and Home-Ready, a program that requires the buyer to only put down 3%. In addition to Mr. Jimenez, I invited Mrs. Maribel Martinez and Vincent Palisano, realtors that provided excellent tips for house hunting, and purchasing a home.

Before the event concluded, a very special guest 20160830_154240arrived to share her story. Mrs. Scarlet Drada, a former student from one of my previous workshops, returned to give her testimonial. She attended my very first workshop on March 26th, 2016. Two days later, she went to a Ship Program office in Hernando County and showed them her HOPE Certificate Of Completion for the program. The very next day, she was approved for a $10,000 loan to cover her down payment and closing costs. Upon closing, she only had to provide $199 to move into her new home. What an accomplishment!

“Thanks for taking your time and teaching this class. Even though I have been researching buying a house, this seminar explained a lot of things that I otherwise didn’t know. Your guest speakers were also great. Really helpful. Being a first time home buyer can be very confusing and sometimes frustrating. Thanks to your seminar, I will have an insight on searching for a home and getting financing. I also will be prepared for the closing experience, which can be challenging as well. Thanks for your pamphlet that you handed out, the information in there is very helpful. Once again thanks again for what you do. Take care and God bless.”

– Philip Beeton

Operation HOPE is committed to helping people in low-wealth neighborhoods become homeowners and community stakeholders. To register for an upcoming Home Buyers Workshop, please contact your local HOPE Inside office.