Preparing for Ownership

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

The majority of families enter a lottery 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 JTCAH 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: Homebuyer Education

All first-time home buyers of JTCAH homes must take a home buyer’s education course before entering a lottery, view the eHome America 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 JTCAH will keep it on file once you submit it.

Step 3: 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 JTCAH’s Lenders Qualification Form (PDF) and give you a copy of your credit report so you can attach them to your Lottery Entry when you wish to enter a lottery. This Lender’s Qualification will need to be renewed annually. JTCAH will keep it on file for one year from it’s date.

Step 4: Prepare Paperwork

Part of applying for a home includes gathering some paper-work, including your tax returns and W2s. The JTCAH 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.