It's move-in day!
The search for the perfect home is over. The closing is complete. The keys are in hand. And the movers have arrived.
If it were a movie, the credits would be rolling.
But homeownership isn't quite the same as a two-hour family drama.
It is amazing to have a place to call your own. But owning a home can also mean unexpected home repairs and hidden home maintenance costs. (Who knew it cost that much to have a hornet nest removed from your gutters?)
For some homeowners, the journey toward homeownership begins at a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, where staff serve as critical resources for potential homeowners: providing unbiased answers to questions, helping them create budgets, and talking through various mortgage options.
Housing counselors like Lois McCampbell, of OSU Extension, and Nancy Hickman, of Horizon Housing Communities Development, know firsthand what homeowners need post-purchase.
Reality often hits quickly for many first-time homeowners, said McCampell. "There is a big difference between just paying rent and a mortgage. You are now responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of your home -- like those unexpected repairs that pop up from nowhere. And, you might have found the well-meaning family members and friends have not been helpful enough to guide you in the right direction for the help and resources you need."
Power of Home is a new initiative by OHFA, Framework Homeownership® and The Ohio State University that aims to help homeowners in many of those areas by giving them the tools to increase homeownership sustainability.
"The Power of Home takes the stress out of trying to handle homeownership issues that one has little information about. This program offers a wealth of knowledge, which saves homeowners time, energy, and money," added Hickman.
Power of Home has a laser-focused goal: Help homeowners protect their largest investment – their home. Homeowners sign up for Power of Home and get access to multiple resources through the Keep app by Framework®:
- A search tool for local grants and loans to fund home maintenance, repair and energy efficiency work
- Access to get questions answered and unbiased advice from home experts
- Easy-to-understand content to learn more about what it means to be a homeowner and create a plan for home maintenance
A recent survey by Framework showed that 53% of first-time homeowners said maintaining their home was the biggest challenge they faced in their first year of ownership. Power of Home connects information and technology to help homeowners know what to expect, prepare for it, and be able to handle it.
Housing counselors who would like to share this program with potential homeowners can do so easily by visiting OHFA's Power of Home page.
Homeowners can join Power of Home at keephome.com/ohfa, and instantly have a safe space for learning and empowerment as they take charge of their financial lives. (And prepare for that hornet nest removal.)