NACA Part 2: The Step-by-Step NACA Home-Buying Process
I’m still early on my journey with the NACA home-buying program. In Part 1, I talked about the pros and cons of NACA, so now I want to update you on my personal progress. The process is a bit complex, and this is coming from me, as a person who has been through the home-buying process before.
What is NACA?
NACA stands for the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America and they help lower-income families buy homes with rock-bottom interest rates and no down payments.
1. The NACA process
Buying a home through NACA requires you to go to NACA home-buying workshops and meet with your counselor to get qualified.
They require all this to make sure people are clear about why they’re buying a house, if they can afford a house, and they make sure people get into homes they actually can afford to avoid foreclosure. NACA has a great approach.
2. NACA homebuyer workshop
The first thing you have to do is a workshop. Go right on their website and schedule your initial intake workshop. They’ve been inundated so be patient, it may be months before you can get into a workshop. If you’re trying to buy a house in the next couple of months, then buying a home through NACA probably isn’t the right route for you.
3. The intake workshop
The intake workshop is about four hours long and they go through the history of NACA, what they do, why they do it, they’re big on voter registration so you’ll want to be a registered voter in your district. They discuss why voting is important. It’s in-depth.
4. The NACA i.d.
After the first workshop, you will be emailed a NACA i.d. The NACA i.d. is critical. You can’t move forward in the process without this i.d. Hold on to this identification. Mine is saved on my computer in a NACA file. You’ll need this identification for everything you do in the process.
5. NACA portal
The identification gives you access to an online portal where you need to upload a series of documents which is the start of getting you qualified.
6. Make an appointment
After your documents are uploaded they ask you to call their office to make an appointment with a counselor. This is the qualification session where they look through all of your debt and income to start the process of getting you approved for a certain mortgage type.
7. NACA and its lenders
NACA is not a lender. It partners with banks and lenders who are part of their program and lend to you that way. NACA is the conduit helping you get matched with banks that can lend you money. That wasn’t clear to me at first. They do make sure you are qualified and in a good place to do this.
8. Documents to upload
I’ll tell you more about what you need to upload into the portal so you can be ready to make an appointment with a counselor. You’ll need to upload the following:
- 30 days' worth of paystubs to prove your income. And if you are self-employed, you will need 12 months of bank statements.
- 2 years of tax returns
- 2 years of W2s
- 3 months of all of your bank statements including multiple bank accounts, savings, and checking accounts
They have other requirements you’ll need to upload for certain circumstances in your life, such as divorce decrees or investment statements.
Even before you go on the portal, just start downloading all of these things to your computer. Keep a NACA file and subfiles to keep organized. I’ve been told that the best way to get through this process efficiently is to stay current and organized when it comes to all of your documents.
Why I’m buying a house
I want to talk a little bit about why I’m finally taking the plunge to become a homeowner again. I want stability for my son and me. We’ve moved almost every year since I’ve been separated and I think it’s time we have our own space, hopefully with a backyard and his own room. Stability is the number one driver for me.
The mortgage issue
Another reason I want to buy a house is the mortgage. Mortgage payments don't fluctuate as much as rental costs. Housing costs keep going up like crazy and that affects rentals. I am ready to lock that budget item down for myself with a mortgage. A mortgage can change due to taxes and insurance, but it doesn’t change as much as a rent price from year to year.
Housing as an income stream
Hopefully, in time I can turn my home into an income stream for myself. I live in a larger city near Atlanta, so a lot of people rent out their backyards for photoshoots and videography. Maybe I’ll be able to rent out a space in my house or backyard to make a little bit of extra money.
I’m also looking for homes with basements that I can turn into a flex space. NACA does have stipulations that you need to personally live in the home for five years, but five years go by very fast.
The NACA home-buying process
I’m happy to share with my single mamas the entire process I’m going through. I want you to be clued in on all the good stuff out there for you. I don’t want you to think homeownership is not in the picture for you just because you have a low income or you only have one income.
You also don’t need to be a first-time home buyer to use NACA. Let me know in the comments if you think buying a home through NACA could be a good fit for your life.