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!

What should I do to get started?

Check your credit score. Use a free credit reporting service online that will provide a credit score.

If your score is below 640 you should consider working with one of our financial coaches.

Email for more information.

If your score is above 640 you can register for a workshop:

If you are buying in Baltimore City, you can choose:

Dates

Registration is open one day only.

  • February 10—register January 19
  • March 17—register February 23
  • April 14—register March 23
  • May 12—register April 20
  • June 9—register May 18
  • July 7—register June 15
  • August 11—register July 20
  • September 15—register August 24
  • October 13—register September 21
  • November 17—register October 26
  • December 15—register November 23
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.

Fees
  • Baltimore City Group Workshop: $110
  • 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 buying in Baltimore County you cannot take the online workshop and access down payment and closing cost assistance.

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

Please note: If you are considering buying in the county you should not take the online workshop.

In-Person Group Workshop

Registration is open one day only.

At St. Ambrose:

  • February 24—register February 2

At the Catonsville Library:

  • April 28—register April 6
  • June 23—register June 1
  • August 25—register August 3
  • October 27—register October 5
Locations

St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center
317 E. 25th Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

Catonsville Library
1100 Frederick Road
Catonsville, MD 21228

Hours

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Free continental breakfast and lunch are provided.

Fee

There is no fee for the Baltimore County Workshop.

Please note: If you are considering buying in the county you should not take the online workshop.

In-Person Group Workshop

Registration is open one day only.

At St. Ambrose:

  • February 24—register February 2

At the Catonsville Library:

  • April 28—register April 6
  • June 23—register June 1
  • August 25—register August 3
  • October 27—register October 5
Locations

St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center
317 E. 25th Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

Catonsville Library
1100 Frederick Road
Catonsville, MD 21228

Hours

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Free continental breakfast and lunch are provided.

Fee

There is no fee for the workshop.

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 x249 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.