This article originally appeared in the March 2016 Neighborhood Minute. To read the full newsletter in .pdf format, please click here.
Alhaji Bah is anything but the typical HOMEteam Home Buyer Seminar attendee. Bah, as he calls himself, is a former realtor, home owner, and foreclosure victim. In a class predominantly filled with Millennials preparing to take the plunge into home ownership, Bah stands out. But while he may have known more about the home buying process than the average attendee going into the class, the class and counseling gave him up to date information, making him an informed consumer.
“I thought the class would be a refresher for me,” Bah comments on the eight-hour seminar he attended in Nashua. “But the step-by-step explanations and insight from real professionals were awesome and really helpful.”
Bah, a former Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, worked part-time as a realtor in New Hampshire in the 1980s. He is not new to the home buying process, but all the same, he says he learned so much from Ryan, and the presenters at the class. “It is incredible how everything has changed, and how much stricter all the rules and regulations are now. To have someone on your side who knows the ins and outs is important – I have already referred a friend to take the class. By taking the class, I felt like I had a head start,” says Bah.
His wife, Salimatou, is a nurse’s aide, and takes classes at the Adult Learning Center in Nashua. That’s where she learned about HOMEteam’s classes. She says, “I had to work the day of the Nashua class so I sent my husband, and told him to take good notes for me.”
After losing his job in 2008 when he was diagnosed with an unexpected and serious illness, Bah lost his home to foreclosure. He knew it would be seven years until the foreclosure would come off his credit report, but he was not sure how to make sure it did. He learned how to check as a result of attending the class. “I got my free annual credit report online at annualcreditreport.com, and have used apps since then to keep track of my credit score. These tools let me see what was on my credit so I could be confidant in my purchase,” Bah recalls.
He also learned about the different mortgage products available to him, and which would best fit his needs. The Bah family went into the transaction knowing they wanted to buy a duplex and rent out the other unit, so they could maximize their income and benefit from some rental income to pay the mortgage.
After their counselor presented them with a few mortgage options, Bah selected a mortgage product which included cash assistance. “The cash assistance from the lender helped me pay for the closing costs, and I feel I got the best deal for me and my family. My wife and I have a great place to live, and we can afford it,” Bah commented. Even though Bah had extensive experience in home ownership and home buying, he benefited from having up to date information which has led to satisfaction in the Bah’s current homeownership decisions, and the knowledge and confidence necessary for sustainable home ownership.