Homebuyer Education

AAHR Designation Classes
Attend classes this spring to earn your Attainable Affordable Housing Representative designation. This designation recognizes REALTORS® who commit their time and have experience to work with buyers in the affordable housing market segment.

Affordable Housing Solutions

Wednesday, April 18th – 9:00am – Noon 3CE
Find the Money
Thursday, May 3rd – Noon – 2:00pm Lunch & Learn
At Home with Diversity
Wednesday, June 13th – 9:00am – 4:00pm 6CE

Register online or call Ines 239-936-3537, ext 225
Any Questions? Contact Matt Spielman

We are working with the Lee County Housing Development Corporation (LCHDC) in providing the 8-hour Homebuyer Education Class at our Education Center once a month, taught by our accredited volunteer instructors. The costs for this program are covered by local sponsors enabling us to provide workbooks, lunch and a full-day class at no cost to the participants. As participants learn how to be credit worthy, obtain financing, set priorities for home selection and importantly, learn how to maintain and keep their home after purchase they feel empowered from the knowledge they’ve obtained to be better buyers and ultimately, better homeowners. To date we have educated over 350 potential homeowners.

Homebuyer Education Dates and Location
3rd Saturday each month from 8:15AM-4:45PM
January 18           July 19
February 15        August 16
March 15              September 20
April 12                October 18
May 17                   November 15
June 21
• Partnership with Lee County Housing Development Corporation
• Participants can register online at www.greaterfortmyershomes.com, affordable housing, homebuyer education – offered free through lender CRA sponsorships.

Our members are on the front line to answer calls for assistance from homebuyers that have received default notices or are behind on their mortgage payments. Many members of our community have been faced with severe economic challenges and are unable to meet their financial obligations. As such, the Association is providing “Options to Foreclosure”, a free 2-hour seminar that is taught by the Eddie Felton, Executive Director of the Home Ownership Resource Center. Participants are provided with options to help them determine whether to try and stay in their home or learn more about other available options (i.e., deed in lieu or short sale). In addition, the steps of foreclosure are explained, components of a loss mitigation package are presented and a checklist of the 10-12 documents that need to be gathered before a homeowner contacts their lender. The goal is to provide residents in our community with the survival priorities and steps needed to remain credit-worthy as they go through the process of working with their loan servicer.

Options for Distressed Homeowners
Classes will be held at our Education Center January-March, on the 3rd Saturday monthly from 9-11AM:
• January 21
• February 18
• March 17
A task force is working to secure additional locations throughout the Greater Fort Myers community to hold the classes either on a weekend or an evening mid-week.

Habitat for Humanity and NSP
Last year the Association supported Habitat’s Women Build project as a $1,000 Skilled Tradeswoman Sponsor. The effort raised over $50,000 to enable Habitat to refurbish a home for a single mother in our community. In addition, our members are working with Habitat’s Speakers Bureau to provide the community with information on the Habitat mission, solicit community support and encourage volunteers to help with their projects.
This year, Habitat is working with Lee County’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) to refurbish homes for their clients. As part of the requirements of the program, Habitat clients will be attending our Homebuyer Education classes. Lee County’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) supports communities that have suffered from foreclosures and abandonment by purchasing, redeveloping and reselling such homes to permanent residents at an affordable price.
The NSP Program operates solely on federal funding provided by HUD. Lee County has continued to move the NSP Program forward, purchasing a total of 160 properties to date. Of those, 105 have been fully rehabbed, with 101 sold or under contract to NSP buyers.

Financial Literacy
Participants of our Homebuyer Education Class have indicated they needed help getting their finances on track and few resources are available to provide this in our community. Suggestions have been made that a class should be taught at the high school level to teach basic money management skills:
• Income and expenses
• Budget and savings
• Setting goals
• Consumer skills
• Wise use of credit
Wells Fargo, Freddie Mac and NeighborWorks™ America Training programs provide curriculum covering these topics. We have met with and are working towards instituting a pilot class for that would be incorporated into on-going senior high education.

AAHR Designation
The Accredited Attainable Housing Representative (AAHR) is capable of representing attainable/affordable buyers with information, resources and guidance throughout the home buying process. This designation recognizes REALTORS® who have committed their time to obtain the education and experience in working with the attainable housing market.

Four criteria to complete the designation:
1. Attend three AAHR Classes
2. Complete four (4) attainable housing transactions
3. Ten (10) hours of community service
4. Attend a Lee County Affordable Housing Committee meeting, Board of County Commissioners meeting or municipality commission meeting

AAHR Class Schedule

1. Affordable Housing Solutions
• Wednesday, April 18, 2012
• Instructor: Chip White (Florida Housing Finance Corporation)

2. Find the Money – Lunch & Learn2.
• Tuesday, May 29

3. At Home with Diversity
• Wednesday, June 13
• 9AM-4PM/6CE
• Instructor: Chuck Bonamer