Preparing for Ownership

Preparing for OwnershipMother and Child Sit on Front Porch with a White Chair

The majority of families enter a weighted drawing several times before having the opportunity to own. While you’re waiting, there are some things you can do to get ready.

Step 1: Start Saving Money

The Housing Department requires a minimum 3.5% down payment. Additionally, the more money you can put towards a down payment, the less money you’ll spend on mortgage payments when you purchase the home. There are also closing costs that you’ll need to cover, which are approximately 2% of the cost of the home.

Step 2: Employment Verification

The weighted drawing requires you to have worked in Teton County full time for one full year to receive an entry. You also receive one drawing entry for each year you have worked in Teton County full time consecutively immediately prior to drawing entry. To receive the entry, your employment must be verified. An Affidavit of Current Employment and/or an Affidavit of Previous Employment completed by your current and/or previous employer is the best way to verify employment. If your situation doesn't allow for an Affidavit of Employment, contact the Housing Department to discuss other ways of verification. If employment cannot be verified, it will not be counted. Verification of employment can be done prior to entering a drawing. Current employment verification is good for six months. After six months or if employment changes, a new verification form must be completed for current employment.

Step 3: Homebuyer Education

All first-time home buyers of Housing Department homes must take a home buyer’s education course before entering a drawing, view the Wyoming Housing Network website to begin this course. The class introduces you to the process of buying a home. It’s a one-time approximately five-hour course that you can take online. Contact us or visit our website to sign up. This course certification is good indefinitely, and the Housing Department will keep it on file once you submit it.

Step 4: Talk to a Lender

You must talk to a lender before entering a lottery. Talking to a lender will give you a sense of what you can afford and  what the monthly payment will look like. Your lender can also advise you on how much money to save for the down payment and closing costs. Additionally, since good credit scores tend to get better interest rates, your lender can talk to you about your credit history and how it may affect your loan. Have your lender complete The Housing Department's Lenders Qualification Form (PDF)  so you can attach it to your Weighted Drawing Entry when you wish to enter a drawing for a home. This Lender’s Qualification will need to be renewed annually. The Housing Department will keep it on file for one year from it’s date.

Step 5: Credit Report

The Housing Department will pull a complete three bureau credit report for you for a fee. You can also go to creditkarma.com and register to get a complete credit report for no charge. They will only let you print one bureau at a time. The Housing Department will accept a one bureau credit report from creditkarma.com, however it must be a complete credit report showing your credit score and all accounts. To print your credit report from creditkarma.com go the the website and register. Click on one of the credit scores that show at the top of the page. Then click on Credit Report. Click on Print Report. 

Step 6: Prepare Paperwork

Part of applying for a home includes gathering some paper-work, including your tax returns and W2s. The Housing Department uses this  information to verify that your income fits within a required income range and that you work locally. We require your tax returns and W2s from the past two years, but if you’re self-employed, we require tax returns and W2s/1099s etc. from the past three years. We recommend compiling this paperwork early, so it’s easy to hand in when you apply. All tax returns must be signed.