Standing outside of Grassroots Gourmet as they were running out of the last of the cookies and maple pumpkin, I chatted with Scott Roberts of the Bloomingdale Blog, about the neighborhood and housing and such. I mentioned there is a post I've been trying to write and this is just another attempt.
I've mentioned before my homebuying experience and I hope that any information I can provide will be helpful any other person who is considering homeownership. Unfortunately I had something, or someone, that most new homebuyers don't have, a housing doula. Well that wasn't her title and yes, I've been hanging out with too many pregnant women. Anyway, like a doula she assisted, gave advice, and emotional support before, during and after buying my house.
She was part of a homebuying program run by some long gone North Capitol Something-something non-profit. Their main thing was to educate, and I thought they did something wonderful in that they focused on keeping a home over getting it. Like a wedding coordinator who pushes the pre-martial counseling along with the catering. Besides the classroom excercises, there was an explaination of what all the ten kazillion sheets of paper you'll sign, and recommendations of Realtors and mortgage brokers. The woman who was helping me, she was the one who got me tuned into the DC Housing Finance Agency's low interest loans and steered me away from the HPAP. I am very thankful for her because that was a sweet loan at about 3% APR for a fixed rate and there were other programs the city offered that she gave information about, with a dose of wisdom.
Is there a DC homebuyer program out there that offers that? If not I would recommend having a friend who has bought in the past 5 years, in the same city, to be part of the homebuying support system in addition to classes about the home buying process.