Homebuyer Education

PRE-PURCHASE COUNSELING

Howard County Housing, in partnership with Guidewell Financial Solutions, has designed an initiative to promote successful homeownership in Howard County, Maryland. Educational workshops and one-on-one counseling will be offered on a monthly basis to households purchasing a home in Howard County, and/or participating in Howard County Housing’s (HCH) homeownership and rental programs, including, but not limited to, the Settlement Downpayment Loan Program (SDLP) and Moderate Income Housing Unit (MIHU) program. Guidewell Financial Solutions is a HUD-approved housing counseling agency and the workshop curriculum is derived from guidelines established by the National Industry Standards for Homeownership and Counseling. Individuals and families interested in purchasing a home in Howard County are invited to attend.

Monthly Homebuyer Education Workshop

The monthly 3-hour homebuyer education workshop will be presented at Howard County Housing’s main office located at 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia, MD 21046, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The workshop’s curriculum focuses on the following five areas: assessing home readiness, budgeting and credit usage, financing a home, selecting a house, and maintaining a home and post-purchase finances. Registration is required for attending a workshop. Each person who will attend must be registered. Interested participants can register by emailing homebuyerclass@howardcountymd.gov or calling 410-313-3696.

Below are the dates of the workshops for calendar year 2016:

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Class day: Mondays
Class time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
No admittance to class after 6:15 pm
January 2016 - FULL July 18, 2016
February 2016 - FULL August 15, 2016
March 2016 - FULL September 19, 2016
April 2016 - FULL October 17, 2016
May 2016 - FULL November 21, 2016
June 20, 2016 December 19, 2016 

Click here for things to know about the workshop.

One-on-One Counseling Required for Workshop Attendees

All Homebuyer Education Workshop Attendees are required to complete a 1-hour, one-on-one counseling session with a Guidewell Financial Solutions credit counselor. Attendees will receive a certificate of completion after they attend both the workshop and receive one-on-one counseling. Appointments are available over the phone or in-person, at a time convenient for the attendee. During the session, the counselors will assess each individual’s financial situation, set up a budget, and develop personalized action plans for long- and short-term financial goals, including homeownership and credit improvement.

Completion of the workshop course, including the one-on-one counseling session, complies with the counseling requirements for the Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) and the Moderate Income Housing Unit (MIHU) program.

Certificates are issued after completion of the 3 hour homebuyer workshop and the 1 hour phone consultation. Please note that Howard County’s certificate is not valid in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Harford County or Baltimore City. If you are planning on purchasing in one of those counties, please access the Maryland Mortgage Program website at www.mmp.maryland.gov to locate the appropriate counseling agency.