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From: Kimberly (1/99)
Re: saving to buy a home... I have a wonderful resource for you. The organization is called The Home Buyers' Assistance Center and the coordinator's name is Francine McKinney. The address is 1611 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA, 510-832-6925. They help low to moderate income families and first time home buyers purchase their first homes. They teach you how to buy a house and how to budget to save for a house. They take you through the home buying process step by step.
This is a non profit organization that gets funding from various banks, savings and loans and credit unions, as well as real estate agencies, brokers and title companies, public and private donations. They may even get federal funding from HUD.
Not only do they assist their clients in establishing a manageable budget, they can also assist with credit issues, and provide invaluable information on county and statewide assistance programs for which you may qualify. Some programs allow first time home buyers to purchase homes with little or no money down and no closing costs or points. You do not have to purchase a home in Oakland or in Alameda County. They get information about assistance programs from all 9 of the Bay Area counties. Not only do they assist you in getting your home, they provide support services for up to two years after the purchase of your home to ensure that you do the necessary things to keep your home. They provide workshops on maintenance and minor repairs, lawn care, even tax services. The center brings in industry personnel to teach their clients about various aspects of the home buying process and home maintenance, i.e. real estate agents, title company representatives, tax preparers, Home Depot employees, loan officers, etc.
I thought I would never be able to purchase a house, until I went to the center. Now, I'm excited about the possibilities. I've been able to save money and stay within my budget and look forward to purchasing my first home this summer. If you decide to call, tell Francine that I sent you. I do not get any benefit for spreading the word. It's just my way of telling Francine thanks for all of her help. If you would like to call me regarding the center, I can be reached at . Good Luck! I know you can do it!