Homeowner Education Classes
All Habitat families are required to complete 200-400 hours of "Sweat Equity. Habitat families are given "Sweat Equity" credit for attending the mandatory education classes. The following is a list of classes offered; each class is taught by a local area professional.
Consumer Credit: Information on credit and how it is evaluated, teaches individuals how to interpret their credit history and about their credit rights. The instruction also covers the different types of consumer loans available, alternative forms of credit and how to avoid credit fraud.
Checking: The reasons for opening a checking account and the different types of accounts available are discussed. Individuals are taught how to reconcile their checking statements and how to balance their checking accounts. Also addressed is how checks travel through the system.
Savings: This class discusses both short term and long-term savings goals and how to set these goals. It then covers the various types of savings accounts and how they relate to one's individual savings needs. Finally, it provides tips to help reach one's savings goals.
Budgeting: This crucial course details what a budget is and why it is an important tool to use. Next it examines different types of income and how to determine one's personal financial situation. This course helps individuals determine the necessity of their expenses and how to prioritize them. Also, each participant will create a personal budget in class and explore options in creating a stable budget plan.
Insurance/Risk Management: This course describes what the state and federal laws are concerning insurance. It covers insurance types and levels of protection. Finally, it examines how much insurance is enough and approximately how much it should cost.
Diversity: Our experienced instructor explains that while people are different, neighbors share the same hopes and dreams for their families. Identifies what can be learned from a neighbor's different cultural background and the importance of acceptance. Also explores what it takes to be a good neighbor and an active member of one's community and provides the necessary resources to do so.
Homeowners Association/Home Maintenance: This class describes what a Homeowners Association and a Planned Unit Development are and details the rules that are associated with them. Also explained is what Habitat's Limited Warranty Coverage is and how to select one's homeowners insurance. Finally, it covers basic home maintenance principles, such as; furnace and swamp cooler maintenance, winterizing one's home, general maintenance, and yard care.
Mortgage Documentation and the Closing Process: An area attorney clarifies exactly what a property is and means. Details what a title report is, how title is transferred and what comprises a closing. Each individual is given copies of their mortgage documents and a complete review of each document is completed. Individuals may ask any questions and are encouraged to review these documents while they complete the rest of their "sweat equity" hours.
Estate Planning: Teaches what an asset is and how they are owned. The families learn how assets are transferred, when federal and gift taxes are charged and how to avoid or minimize the taxation. Families also learn about wills, living wills and durable powers of attorney.
Identity Theft Prevention: The families learn the history of ID fraud, why it is a huge problem, what types of information crooks want and how the information is obtained. Families are taught how the information is most commonly used, how to stop ID theft, how to prevent ID fraud and what to do if you are a victim.