The Workshop

The NACA workshop is the first step of their home purchase program. It is a 3 hour session intended to cover details of the home purchase program.

When you arrive at the workshop you check in at a desk and you are given a booklet. The booklet contains a brief history of NACA, steps of the program to become qualified, list of required documents, etc.

After a brief introduction the NACA representative shows a video of the history of NACA. Most of the video is old and low quality but informs you on how the reasons and purpose behind NACA. When the video is over the NACA rep continues with a slide show which seemed very dated. It looked like something that was created in the 90s. The rep even pointed out some details that had changed that were not reflected in the slides.

At the conclusion of the slide show there is a Q & A session. Some of the questions asked:

Q:How long after a bankruptcy could someone get approved for a loan through NACA?

A: 2 years but can start the process right away

Q: If forced to move due to job relocation would they be able to rent out the home?

A: No, must be owner occupied. Even for multifamily properties the owner must occupy one of the units.

Q: Do all people on the loan documents have to attend the workshop?

A: Yes

Q: Can you fax in the documents?

A: Yes. You will be given a cover sheet to use to fax your documents. Faxed documents are automatically added to your account. You can also email or upload the documents directly.

You are told you will be send your NACA id within 5 days. At that point you can start uploading, emailing, or faxing in documents. You can also setup an appointment with a counselor. During this phone appointment the counselor will review your documents and or let you know which documents you need to submit. The counselor will setup a task list for you that you can access through your NACA account.

During the whole session they preached patience. They have many people trying to get through the program and limited people to process everything. It seemed they mentioned the word patience every 10 minutes. NACA had a couple volunteers there (you must volunteer a few times a year as part of the NACA) one of which discussed her experience with the program. After this talk people had a better idea of what to expect.

At the conclusion you are asked to fill out a participation form. This must be filled out or they will not write you down as having participated in the workshop. They will also use the information on this form to create your profile.

After attending the workshop I felt good about the experience. Although given a lot of information in 3 hours it is all easy to digest. With the easy to read booklet and my 10+ years working for software companies I felt I would be able to navigate the NACA website and submit all the required documents.

Mood after attending the workshop? Optimistic.

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The Background

Owning a home in Los Angeles can be very expensive even in the worst areas. Although the price of properties has come down in the last 5 years it is still tough for most families to come up with the 20% down payment to use a conforming loan. Without the 20% down payment you have the added cost of private mortgage insurance. This is the situation my brother and recently I have found myself in.

When my brother started looking at mortgages, about a year ago, he searched for first time buyer programs that assisted with the down payment and/or closing costs. These were available a few years back but have been put on hold by state, county, or city governments as housing bubble burst. While searching for these programs he came across the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) website.

NACA offers a home purchase program with no down payment, no closing costs, no fees, and a 30 year low fixed rate mortgage. This was exactly what my brother was looking for. He attended the workshop, submitted all the documents, and setup an appointment with a counselor. However a few days before his appointment was canceled with no reason given. He has tried to reschedule but with no success.

After learning about the program and its potential I started looking into it myself. I knew my brother’s experience and there are many negative stories online about NACA. However the people that did get loans were very happy with the terms. If I waited another year I could put the 20% down but the question is would I want to? It is a lot of money to have tied up. I continued reading about the experience different people had and decided to sign up for the workshop. TheĀ  workshop is the first step in the NACA program.

Off to the workshop I go.

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