One of the best kept secrets in the Philadelphia area, especially for low and moderate income families who want to become homeowners, is the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America - also known as NACA.
It's considered a best kept secret because everybody else knows about it's existence, it seems, but Philadelphians themselves. And, interestingly enough, NACA has been in Philly since 2004!! Perhaps it's because they've been located on what could be considered the outskirts of Philly, on Delaware Ave, near Penn Treaty Park. So folks from New Jersey, Delaware, even New York City, make the trek to participate in their free, four hour workshop - but all that's about to change - as there are plans afoot to relocate the NACA offices to the Lusk facilities near Broad Street and Fairmont Avenue - still close enough for the Jersey and Delaware participants to reach the offices, but much more travel friendly for Philadelphians who use the bus, subway, and personal vehicles for their mode of transportation. A stone's throw from Center City and City Hall, and just about every adjacent neighborhood as well - North Philadelphia, Germantown, South Philly, etc.
|Husband and wife who just became NACA-Qualified|
Now, you're asking, "What's so special about NACA? and why should Philadelphia be interested?" Glad you asked. NACA, which is now in it's 35th year, is the homebuyer's best friend. In fact, when you call their number the first thing you hear is, "Welcome to NACA - We're going to make you a home owner!" NACA has $13 Billion dollars in resources, and provides first time home buyers with Free Down Payment, Free Closing Costs, Free Counseling, Mortgages that are 1% below the current prime rate; not based on your credit, but on your character; and in addition to the consulting, will continue to work with you as long as you have a NACA mortgage.
Now you can say WOW!
So, why is it that Philadelphia is not aware of their existence - and why haven't more Philadelphians taken advantage of their program and resources?
I've been asking that same question. As a NACA Advocate for 10 years now, I've attended several NACA seminars in various cities and communities, where the room is always packed with people looking to purchase their first home. But at the seminars in Philly, less than half of the participants are from Philadelphia. Shocking, especially when there are so many buyers setting their sites on Philly, in the very neighborhoods in which so many potential Philly homebuyers reside. Homes are being purchased right out from under their very noses. It boggles the mind how there seems to be a grass is greener attitude, coupled with a not so subtle despair that nothing ever breaks for Philly.
Which is why I'm posting this wake up call to Philadelphians.
Wake Up Philly, you have NACA in your midst - you don't have to be rich to participate!
Wake Up Philly: Not only do you have NACA in your midst, you will have them soon in easy reach.
Wake Up Philly - NACA provides FREE Down Payment
FREE Closing Costs
Mortgage 1% Below Prime
You don't have to wait til you're old and gray to save up 20% (conventional) down payment; or even 5% (FHA);
You and your family can own your own home - NOW
A Single Family home; or you can own a multi-family home - live in one unit, rent out the rest - making it possible for you to prosper while you live (of course you have to complete NACA's free Landlord training program to make sure you do it the right way). And for those family members or friends, who are really smart, and chose to do so, you can even co-buy a property, and reside in each unit at a reduced mortgage rate.
Now you don't have to buy in Philly, but I highly recommend that you do so. There are too many people in Brooklyn and other areas kicking themselves right now because they were ignorant of the treasures right under their very noses - opportunities that they turned their backs on because they made the mistake of looking down on their own community - the grass is greener syndrome, has cost them a lot, caused them to be displaced and destroyed decades of family traditions that once made Brooklyn communities famous.
Don't let that happen here!
A little history about NACA for those of you who are still skeptical: The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America was formed as the answer to a need - The African American Members of a union in Boston, MA were being discriminated against and redlined by banks and lending institutions who were overcharging them for properties in distressed areas, and charging them higher interest rates and fees. (Of course, these are just the highlights - the entire story will make you angry, make you cry, and then cheer for the bravery and boldness these NACA pioneers showed, who paved the way for this organization to be born - I remember when I first saw the original video, it really got to me).
|NACA FOUNDER AND LEADER BRUCE MARKS|
One time union leader, Bruce Marks, who headed the union became aware of these issues, and formed a coalition with the members to put a stop to it via demonstrations, advocacy, and finally suing the banking institutions for egregious acts against the Black homebuyers, and won a whopping settlement of $13 billion dollars against Bank of America and First National City Bank (CitiBank), to assist homebuyers in purchasing their own home.
Marks is so passionate about homeownership, he and his followers have been jailed for going up against banks who felt it was alright to redline Black families. It was Marks who coined the now popular phrase, "MAIN STREET, NOT WALL STREET!" and led the first march ever against a Wall Street investment firm when the repuglycons tried to bail them out while families were losing their homes right and left.
Now, with 35 years of advocating for homeowners rights they are national and local in scope, they are HUD approved, and were instrumental in assisting nearly one million homeowners in saving their homes from foreclosure, during the recent economic downturn under the Bush Administration, when prices were over inflated and properties were being collateralized with mortgage backed securities.
Because NACA is in the business of building and sustaining neighborhoods, they also have an ancillary program called HAND (Home and Neighborhood Development) that will assist with renovation and upgrading of properties at reasonable costs, overseeing the process to ensure the homebuyer does not lose his or her home to unscrupulous contractors who force home owners to take loans against their properties for often shoddy workmanship.
So, what's not to love with NACA in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection??? The workshops are free of charge, every other Saturday of the month - usually at their current location - 1341 N. Delaware Ave. The office is in Suite 312; but there is a small gathering room on the ground floor level of the building that holds about 50 participants - hence the need for additional space.
|Family who just closed on their new home|
For the realtors, NACA is a Godsend - because those buyers who are NACA qualified are literally guaranteed to have their mortgages approved - takes the guesswork and nail biting out of the entire process - all they need to do is to find the suitable home - which, can sometimes be more challenging than one would think. As a matter of fact, one realtor, at the recently held Ephesians Church Street Festival on Diamond Street (Saturday, July 15, 2017), couldn't praise NACA enough for helping her with some of her toughest clients who she thought would never be able to purchase a home.
Debra White, who heads the NACA Philly office explained to the participants that they don't need perfect credit, but they do need to provide the requisite paperwork in a timely manner in the format required in order to ensure things move smoothly. "We will walk with you through the entire process, " she stated, enthusiastically; adding, "We've just hired two new counselors, and will hopefully be bringing on more staff when we expand to new facilities."
The other great thing about NACA Philly, is that they have a friendly, diligent, devoted staff, headed by Debra White - all of whom have the patience of Job, and will do every thing in their power to make sure you become a home owner. Actually, the same can be said about NACA offices regardless of where you find them. The main thing is that, unlike other mortgage facilities - they don't drop you once you've gotten the loan and leave you to fend for yourself. They work with you throughout the life of the loan. While NACA requires that you not own any real estate prior to getting a NACA mortgage; there's no prohibition against your purchasing additional properties afterwards - should you desire to do so. However, you cannot be co-signer on someone else's home.
|NACA's famous 10 Steps to Homeownership|
Of course, most conventional realtors don't understand the NACA methodology, and want to do things the "conventional" way - which, unfortunately is what caused so many homebuyers to purchase underwater (over priced) properties; or caused them to purchase properties they could not afford to maintain. NACA does not allow this, and in order to assist realtors who want to bring their clients to NACA, provides an online webinar every other Wednesday, specially designed for the Real Estate Professional. For additional information, please contact NACA Philly 215.531.2551 Ext. 0. The goal is to have a win-win-win situation so that the Buyers, sellers, realtors all win - and that comes through knowledge, and cooperation.
Since we are in the 21st Century, everything is done online - registration, documentation, notifications - so, it's important that you have a computer, an iPad, or access to one. And it is a family affair - if you're married, both husband and wife have to participate in all the NACA workshops and activities - to ensure that everyone is on the same page. The same is true of co-buyers - whether you're brother and sister, mother and daughter, father and son, or a combination of friends - it cuts down on dissension. And to make sure you are well educated in the process, NACA provides a free workbook so that you can follow step by step everything you need to know to purchase, maintain, and enjoy your home.
|Another family who qualified for a NACA mortgage|
There are many other wonderful things about NACA that I could include here, and, as you know, I'm known for writing long and detailed posts. However, this time I'll give you a link, because I'm sure you're going to want to go on line and sign up for the next upcoming NACA Workshop, which takes place Saturday, July 29 - please check the link for location and time, as some of the local organizations have also been working with NACA to bring them to their organization: www.naca.com
Or you can contact them by calling 215.531.5221 Ext 0 for the front desk.
In case I neglected to mention it, NACA has a Home-Save Division as well - though there is not a branch in our Philadelphia office, NACA-Philly can connect you to a team of legal experts that have been instrumental in saving nearly a million homes - and are thoroughly well versed in Philadelphia law and other issues.
REMEMBER THESE FOUR LETTERS
N A C A
THEY'RE GOING TO MAKE YOU A HOME OWNER PHILADELPHIA!!
NOW THAT YOU KNOW,
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
Stay Blessed &