Our Goal: $1,000,000

Current Total:



Welcome to the VHCDC Home Ownership Assistance Program!

Congratulations. You have enrolled in a unique, comprehensive program designed to assist you in becoming a home owner and provide up to $2,500 in post-closing, transition assistance. If you are not enrolled, we encourage you to do so. On this page we want to provide you some information which will help you make the most of the program. Items marked with an asterisk (*) are requirements of all enrollees in the program.

Step #1. Set the date you want to be in your new home. *

Determine the date you want to move into your new home. If you are in a lease, the date may be within the month your lease ends. You should allow at least seventy -five (75) days to complete the home purchase process. So, if you move-in date is July 1st, you want to kick-off the process no later than April 15th. This will give you plenty of time to complete steps 5 thru 10. Ideally, you will have plenty of time to move out of your apartment into your new home. If you have not already done so, setup your account profile and communicate this date to the Housing Services Office (HSO).

Step #2. Complete the VHCDC First-Time Home Buyers College. *

VHCDC maintains a regular schedule of live, virtual training for first-time home buyers. Courses are offered regularly, about once per month. You should plan on completing the entire course prior to kick-off. To prepare, you will need to secure copies of your credit reports (all three bureaus). Course materials will give you instruction on how to address inaccurate and negative items. You will also learn how to construct a Personal Financial Statement (PFS) and Household Budget (HHB) and provided examples of numerous documents you will see along the way to purchasing your new home. You must complete all modules. A Certificate of Completion will be provided upon receipt of your participant questionnaire. Contact your Housing Services Representative to enroll and save the registration fee!

Step #3. Mind your credit. *

Your FICO or Vantage score is among the most important factors to your ability to secure a mortgage loan. Take care to ensure you STOP SPENDING and DO NOT add-on any new debt. This includes establishing new lines of credit in the months preceding your application for a mortgagte loan. Instead, you should be focusing on raising your credit score, by reducing debt and paying-off any charge-offs, garnishments, judgements, liens, and medical debt. These items must be resolved prior to submitting an application for a mortgage loan, as you do not want your credit application declined due to these items. If you desire assistance, we encourage you to contact our Housing Services Office (HSO) to schedule an appointment with a Housing Counselor. An appointment will be scheduled only after receipt of the following documents:

Our Housing Counselors must have the opportunity to review these items prior to meeting with you. This not only saves time, but ensures your meeting(s) are productive. Please send your credit reports, personal financial statements, and household budget to: hso@vhcdc.org and include your full name and telephone number in the body of the email.

NOTE: If there are debts listed on your credit reports you believe to be erroneous, use the letter below to secure proof of debt from the creditor/collection agency.

Freeze your credit reports BEFORE sending the letter to creditors/collection agencies to block them from accessing your credit file and using it to validate the debt. Also, be sure to send a copy of the letter, along with a cover letter disputing the debt, to each credit bureau reporting the debt.

Step #4. Mind your money.

We strongly encourage you to STOP SPENDING and save, save, save. While you are preparing to become a homeowner, it is vital you eliminate unnecessary expenses. Re-evaluate your subscriptions. Get an insurance check-up to see how you can reduce your monthly premiums. Dine-in more, versus dining out and fast food purchases. Stop smoking. Eliminate or dramatically reduce vanity expenditures (clothing, hair, nails, and tattoos, etc.). The savings can be dramatic and the additional funds will help you substantially reduce your outstanding debt.

Consider Freelancing to Earn More Income: There are several websites/platforms that allow you to work from home and make some serious money (legally). There are literally hundreds of occupations on these sites. If you have the skills you can make significant earnings on projects working for clients locally, nationally, and internationally. Click on any of these for details: Fiverr; Freelancer; Guru; SimplyHired; TopTal; and, UpWork.

Consider Working at Home: There are more than forty-four (41) companies hiring for positions working from home. See this article from Penny Hoarder and contact the employers that align with your skillset. Another resource is Rat Race Rebellion, the self-proclaimed leaders in the work-from-home revolution.

Step #5. Communite your progress with HSO monthly!

Send an updated Personal Financial Statement (PFS) and Household Budget (HHB) to your Housing Services Office (HSO) Representative monthly. This will help us document your progress and ensure you are on-track to becoming mortgage ready. These documents must be forwarded to the HSO Representative no later than the 15th of each month. Please contact your representative if you are unable to submit the documents or have questions. A completed PFS and HHB will be required prior to issuing a referral for mortgage lenders.

Step #6. Secure Pre-Approval from mortgage lenders. *

When you’re ready to buy, be sure to apply to at least three (3) mortgage lenders for Pre-Approval and compare the offers for the best terms.  Ensure your applications are submitted within a fourteen (14) day period to avoid any impact to your credit score.  HSO maintains a list of mortgage lenders and mortgage loan programs favorable to first-time home buyers.  See our Preferred Lenders List for local lenders and Contact your HSO Representative to let them know which lenders you would like a referral.

Step #7. Secure Closing Cost (CCA) and Down-Payment Assistance (DPA), if eligible. *

Once you've secured pre-approval from your lenders and decided which lender you're going to use, immediately apply for any and all Closing Cost (CCA) and Down-Payment Assistance (DPA) programs for which you may be eligible for. Start your research early and secure an application for each program you are eligible. Complete the application and submit it once you have your Letter of Pre-Approval from your lender. See the list of CCA and DPA programs. Some CCA and DPA programs require you make regular savings deposits. Seek out those programs and follow their instructions to the letter!

Step #8. Engage Your Real Estate Team. *

As an enrollee in our Home Ownership Assistance Program, you were assigned an in-house real estate agent and attorney to facilitate your purchase. Once you've secured mortgage pre-approval and decided which lender is right for you, notify your real estate team you're ready to start your search! Members of your team are among our regional network of realtors/realtists (buyer's agents), home inspectors, insurance agents, closing/settlement agents, property managers, real estate attorneys, and tax preparers. Contact your Housing Services Representative if you did not receive your team assignment notice or need to change your realtor.

Step #9. Shop for your new home. *

Once you have secured mortgge pre-approval and engaged your real estate team you are ready to start shopping. Work with your realtor to explore available housing inventory that meets your needs for cost, size, location, style, etc. Be sure to keep in touch with HSO along the way. When you have located a home and secured a ratified purchase agreement notify HSO of your anticipated closing date.

If you are enrolled in VIDA, submit a copy of the ratified purchase agreement and associated documents to HSO so it may process release of your VIDA funds to your closing/settlement agent for your down-payment. YOU MUST PROVIDE DOCUMENTATION AT LEAST 10 DAYS IN ADVANCE OF YOUR CLOSING!

Step #10. Submit a copy of the Closing/Settlement Statement to HSO for processing. *

Upon closing/settlement, your Closing/Settlement Agent will provide you a copy of the Closing Disclosure or HUD Settlement Statement depicting your transaction. Please provide a copy of the disclosure/statement so HSO may confirm completion of the purchase. The Closing Disclosure or Settlement Statement will be used to calculate your transition assistance, if earned. Please be sure to send a legible copy of the document (not the original). Please allow up to 30 days for processing. HSO will contact you when your Transition Award is ready.

Final Step. Send us a picture, please!

We are elated to learn of program enrollees and first-time home buyers college graduates succeeding in becoming a first-time home buyer. Hence, we ask that you send us an email with an attachment of a photo of you in front of your new home and a summary of your journey, if you please. With your permission, we'd like to include your photo in our annual report where we highlight select program participants, along with a summary of their experience. We'll follow-up with you in a few weeks, after you've settled in, to see how you're doing and where we might be of further assisstance. In the meantime, congratulations on securing your new home!

Remember, we’re here to help. Don’t be shy about letting us know your needs. 

Best wishes for your success!

Housing Services Office
Virginia Housing and Community Development Corporation
719 High Street
Portsmouth, VA 23704

This page was last modified on October 27, 2023.