Homeownership Counseling

Our HUD-certified counselors help you understand the home buying process and prepare for the responsibilities of homeownership.

Who should consider Homeownership counseling?

  • First-time home owners
  • Borrowers who need homeowner education certificates to qualify for a loan
  • Borrowers who want to qualify for local and state home-buying incentives and grants
  • Individuals looking to become more educated about homeownership

Homeownership counseling addresses the following topics:

  • Buyer readiness
  • Managing your money
  • Understanding credit
  • Getting a mortgage loan
  • Shopping for a home
  • Keeping your home and managing your finances

To get started register for either a group workshop or the online course. Then, you’ll meet with a counselor one-on-one for a more in-depth discussion about your unique home-buying experience. After completing both steps you’ll receive a Homeownership Certificate.

Please note: You have to complete both the online or group education as well as the one-on-one before you submit a contract on a home. If you are thinking about buying, call us or sign up for education soon!

Group Workshops

St. Ambrose offers in-person, group workshops for first-time home-buyers who are seeking to purchase a home and learn more about grants and incentives offered by county, city and state programs.

Baltimore City Workshops

If you would like to purchase a home in Baltimore City you will need to attend one of our Saturday workshops held monthly.

The Baltimore City homebuyer workshop fee is $100. If your household income is less than $35,000 or you are purchasing a home through the Section 8 or Disability program please call our office to register for the workshop because your fee will be waived.

2017 Group Workshop Dates

Registration closes at noon the day before the workshop.

  • January 14
  • February 18
  • March 18—sold out
  • May 13
  • June 17
  • July 15
  • August 12
  • September 16
  • October 14
  • November 18
  • December 16
Location: St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center
317 E. 25th Street
Hours: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Free continental breakfast and lunch are provided.

Fee Schedule and Methods of Payment

  • Group Workshop: $100
  • A spouse, co-borrower, or Special Needs Assistant may attend the group workshop at no additional charge.
  • If you are seeking to purchase with the assistance of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program or the Homeownership for Individuals with Disabilities Program (HIDP) or your income is less than $35,000, the workshop will be free. Please contact us to register.
  • If you are unable to pay with a credit card online you may register by bringing a money order to our offices at 321 E. 25th Street.

Baltimore County Workshops

If you are purchasing a home in Baltimore County and wish to apply for the Settlement Expense Loan Program (SELP) you must attend one of our in-person Baltimore County Homebuyer Workshops.

The workshops are held monthly during a weekday. The schedule of workshops will be posted soon. Please call our office for more information at 410-366-8550 ext. 235.

There is no fee for this workshop and if Baltimore County homebuyers cannot fulfill the education requirement with the online tool. You must attend an in-person workshop to apply for SELP funds through Baltimore County.

eHome America Online Course

This is not available for Baltimore County homebuyers!

Fee: $99

We offer an online home-buying education course to give you the opportunity to complete the course at your leisure and convenience. The course has quizzes and allows you to repeat information to make sure you understand everything clearly.

eHome America is based on the NeighborWorks America Realizing the American Dream curriculum and meets the National Industry Standards for home owner education.

What topics are covered?

  • Are you ready to buy a home
  • Managing your money
  • Understanding credit
  • Getting a mortgage loan
  • Shopping for a home
  • Keeping your home and managing your finances

Key features of this course:

  • Complete at your own pace
  • Animated videos covering all materials
  • Easy-to-read content with highlighted keywords
  • Quizzes throughout course to ensure understanding
  • Instant access to local homeownership counselor
  • An official English and Spanish online education and certification course
  • Printable certificate at end of course

One-on-One Home-Buying Counseling

After completing a group workshop or online counseling, you will need to schedule a free One-on-One Home-Buying Counseling session to fulfill the housing counseling requirement for most down payment and closing cost assistance programs.

Please note: You must complete the group or online education and the one-on-one before submitting a contract on a home.

Our certified counselors will review income and expenses in an effort to provide a unique action plan for each client to prepare for the loan application process as well as homeownership. Counselors will inform the client of current home-buying incentives, answer questions, and give appropriate referrals. The one-on-one sessions are scheduled Monday through Thursday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The session is generally 1 to 1 ½ hours long. Please call 410-366-8550 x235 to schedule your session as soon as possible, but not before you complete the education requirement.

Before you attend your one-on-one you will need to complete our intake packet and return it to our office with the following documents:

  • 2 most recent pay stubs
  • 2 years of tax returns and W2’s with all attachments; 3 years if self-employed
  • 2 most recent bank statements
  • Copy of recent credit report if available; if not, one will be pulled in the office.
  • Pre-approval letter if available

We need these documents and the intake packet before your appointment. If we do not receive everything before the appointment we will have to reschedule until we receive all documentation.