Congratulation to Mr. A on His New Home!
Mr. A just bought his new house in November of 2018. He attended PCDC’s Homebuyer education workshop on October 2018. After he completed his 1-on-1 counseling session, PCDC issued him his homebuyer education certificate. With this certificate, he was able to apply for a grant from the lenders. This certificate is important because most lenders require this certificate to apply for down payment/closing grants.
Our housing counselor, Ms. Peng followed up with Mr. A to congratulate him on his new house and to follow up in regards to if he knew what his next steps are and to review his budget after his purchase. He said he wasn’t sure about the City of Philadelphia’s Homestead Exemption program. We scheduled him to come back in to help him apply for the homestead exemption, which is able to reduce his property tax. We also did a short interview with him about being a homeowner.
Q. What is the difference between a homeowner and a renter?
A. I feel like I have more responsibilities. When I was renting, I did not pay attention to the area in front of my door. I did not really care if it was clean or not. Everyone is like this. But for my own house, I keep my house and surroundings clean and beautiful, and the neighbors are doing the same thing.
Q. When you attended our home buyer education workshop, which part do you think is the most helpful for you?
A. I think all the topics you discussed in the workshop were helpful. For me, I remember you said that you have to look at the environment around the house you want to buy at different time slots. When I was looking for a house, I tried to go there on weekdays, weekends and evenings. The environment was very different, especially if you have children, be sure you know the surroundings before you buy. Secondly, if I did not attend the workshop, I would not know that I can apply for a DP/Closing grant.
Q You mentioned before that you changed your real estate agent. Can you share your experience working with real estate agents?
A. Yes, I used to have a real estate agent. He helped me find a house I really liked. I told him my price cap, but I think there may be a communication problem, and I did not get the house I liked. I wasn’t sure what happened. So I think effective communication with real estate agents is very important. Then I changed to another real estate agent and he finally helped me find the house that I bought now. I like it very much and I think it is better than the previous house I was looking at.
Q. How long did it take you to buy this house? Start from when you had the idea to buy your own house.
A. I spent at least a year to prepare. Because I did not know the US housing market, the housing structure and the area of the house, etc., I spent a lot of time investigating. I did not know PCDC until very late, and you offered a homebuyer education workshop. If I knew it earlier, I would haven been more prepared, at least when I was looking for a real estate agent.