guidebook module: HOMEOWNERSHIP

Fair Lending & Housing Counseling

  • The New York State Office of the Attorney General provides two brief lists of tips for first-time homebuyers to consider in order to know your rights and protect against unfair treatment. Finally, the Civil Rights Bureau of the Attorney General’s Office provides a webpage highlighting key topics related to fair lending practices in the state with additional links.

Tips for First Time Home Buyers
Home Buying Tips
Fair Lending - Civil Rights Bureau

  • HUD provides this brief video on housing counseling and the benefits it can provide to a future homeowner.

Is Housing Counseling Right for You?

  • NeighborWorks America is a mission-driven organization that seeks to support and create opportunities for people to live affordably in their own homes. Check out their infographic below that shows tips on the benefits of housing counseling.

Benefits of a Homeownership Counselor

  • Housing counseling agencies provide free, independent advice to income-eligible applicants many topics related to buying and owning a home. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers this tool to search for local housing counseling agencies based upon zip code.

Find a Housing Counselor - Search Tool

Homeownership Preparation: Are You Ready?

  • HUD provides this brief video on the basics of thinking about and getting ready for homeownership.

Are you ready for homeownership?

  • NeighborWorks America offers a visual review of information on important financial numbers to consider when thinking about buying your first home. Watch the video below and check out the infographics available in both English and Spanish.

Video - Future Homeowners: Know Your Numbers
Do You Know Your Homeownership Numbers?
¿Sabe sus números de ser propietario de vivienda?

  • Hands on Banking is a free public service program offered by Wells Fargo that includes many resources in English and Spanish on preparing financially for homeownership and the responsibilities of being a homeowner. Included below are links to their Home Buying resources, Home Ownership: Benefits & Realities, and a checklist to help determine if you are ready to buy a house.

Home Buying Resources
Home Onership: Benefits & Realities
Are you Ready to Buy a Home Checklist

  • Better Money Habits provides many free resources on homeownership topics, including mortgage basics, calculating true costs, tips for what to ask lenders, etc. These resources are provided as brief written overviews, videos, and infographics with many additional topics to explore.


  • NeighborWorks America offers additional tips, checklists, and worksheets that every person should review as they are preparing to buy a home.

10 Secrets Every First-time Homebuyer Should Know
Calculating Your Gross Monthly Income Worksheet
Seven Steps to Obtaining a Mortgage
Finding the Right Neighborhood

  • provides the following two checklists on what you may need for a new home as well as tips for ensuring a successful move. The first article by Kim Porter provides a before and after checklist for a new home as well as tips for moving into a new house. The second article by Emilia Benton provides a basic timeline of responsibilities in preparing for a move as well as tips on mistakes to avoid when moving.

New House Checklist
Moving Checklist

  • The Monroe Housing Collaborative provides a useful Move In Checklist, which highlights areas of consideration leading up to as well as the day of the move.

Move In Checklist

  • This article by Kate Ashford on walks through a general timeline of the homebuying process, including tips on how to save time in the process and the benefits of working with a real estate agent.

How Long Does it Take to Buy a House?

Professional Inspection

  • This home inspection checklist is provided by Total Home Inspection for reference when looking at a home that is for sale. While this tool is useful, it should not be used in place of a professional inspection by a certified home inspector.

Home Inspection Checklist

  • The American Society of Home Inspectors provides guidance on how to find and choose a home inspector as well as a Frequently Asked Questions page about home inspections. They review the basics of the home inspection process as well as what to do if an issue arises from the home inspector’s report.

Choosing the Right Inspector
FAQs about Home Inspections

  • This article by Emily Long on shares education and tips on common repairs that may be needed after a home inspection as well as how to request repairs as part of the home buying process.

Common Repairs Needed After a Home Inspection

  • The following article by Marjorie Cohen on Brick Underground discusses the importance of home inspections for apartment or condo purchases as well as general guidance on choosing an inspector. Eight specific areas are highlighted as essential areas for an inspector to consider when looking at a unit in a larger complex.

A home inspection checklist for New Yorkers

Repairs & Maintenance

  • The New York State Office of the Attorney General provides a brief list of tips for homeowners to consider when seeking to hire a contractor for a repair or home improvement project. In the second link, they also provide a step-by-step fact sheet to follow when starting a home improvement project, which includes information on types of payments and contractor requirements.

Home Improvements
Home Improvement Fact Sheet

  • NeighborWorks America provides this graphic in English and Spanish highlighting tips on spotting and avoiding contractor scams when your home needs repairs.

Avoid Contractor Scams
Evite Estafas de Contratistas

  • The New York State Office of the Attorney General provides this list of key rights and considerations when hiring a snow removal service, such as a plowing company, for the winter months. It includes tips and things to watch for that could be red flags of a potential scam.

Snowplowing and Snow Removal

  • This article by Kate Dore on highlights 19 tips for finding a good contractor if home repairs are needed.

How to Find a Good Contractor

Module Quick Links

How to Use the Guidebook  |  Living in Your Own Place |  Leases and Rental Agreements  |  Budgeting  |  Acknowledgment