Hands on Banking for Home Owners

June 8th, 2011

Current and future home owners may now benefit from a new public service tool offered by Wells Fargo designed to provide personal money management guidance.

Wells Fargo has developed a free user-friendly program called Hands on Banking. This program includes informational materials, worksheets, calculators, self-assessments and interactive lessons to better manage your money. Modules beneficial to current homeowners include borrowing against your equity and protecting your home investment.

For individuals planning to someday buy a home, Hands on Banking offers a myriad of modules to help throughout the home buying process. These modules include topics such as:

Are You Ready to Buy?

Before You Shop.

The Home Buying Process

Getting a Mortgage

The Hands on Banking Program provides the money skills and reference materials to help home owners manage their money to their best advantage.  The program is free and is available on CD-ROM and at www.handsonbanking.org.

Looking for a Home with the Most Bang for Your Buck?

March 14th, 2011

Are you a prospective homebuyer looking for the most bang for your buck? A HomePath mortgage loan may be right for you.

The HomePath mortgage program offers prospective home buyers and investors reasonably priced properties with flexible mortgage terms and no mortgage insurance. The HomePath mortgage loan is administered through Fannie Mae on their Real Estate Owned (REO) dwellings, properties owned by the lender due foreclosure actions.

The number of REOs has risen steadily over the past few years. As a result, there are more and more homes reverting to the lender. Subsequently, lenders are increasingly interested in selling these properties as quickly as possible and offer special mortgages to do so.

Fannie Mae’s HomePath program offers traditional HomePath Mortgages and HomePath Renovation Mortgage loans for homes in need of light repair.

Listed below are the characteristics of the traditional HomePath Mortgage loan:

  • No mortgage insurance
  • No appraisal required
  • Minimum of 3 percent down for primary residences, 10 percent down for investment properties
  • Seller contributions can be 6 to 9 percent on primary residences, averaging $5,000, to assist with closing costs
  • Minimum credit score of 580mrequired
  • Borrower can finance up to ten properties
  • Not subject to FHA type property conformity issues.

The HomePath Renovation Mortgage Loan is offered by three lenders nationwide and allow for renovations to the property to be included in the loan. The following stipulations apply:

  • An appraisal must be performed upon completion of the renovation.
  • The loan must close within a specified amount of time (typically 30 days) after a licensed contractor completes the repairs.
  • Adherence to bid and inspection guidelines

Currently, there are dozens of homes in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties eligible for this financing. To view these homes visit: http://www.homepath.com/

Reshaping Pennsylvania’s Housing Market

July 21st, 2010

Please join the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania and the Pocono Alliance on Thursday, August 5, 2010, for “Reshaping Pennsylvania’s Housing Market” at Northampton Community College, Community Room, 3 Old Mill Road, Tannersville, PA, from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Who should attend: Legislators, County Commissioners, Housing Coalitions, Housing and other service providers, Consumers of housing programs and services, along with other stakeholders including developers, realtors, businesses, Chambers of Commerce and the media are invited to attend.

Learn – Share – Network

  • Get cool new data about what’s really going on
  • Hear the latest news from DC and Harrisburg on housing!
  • Share your thoughts about what’s working locally – and what still needs to be done
  • Help shape our agenda for changing the housing market!

Join us for breakfast and networking; bring your literature to share.

Register online.

Northeast Pennsylvania Housing Symposium

May 3rd, 2010

NEPA Housing Task Force will be hosting a Housing Symposium Thursday, May 20, 2010 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm at the Scranton Radisson Hotel, 700 Lackawanna Avenue, Scranton, PA 18503.  The event’s keynote speaker Dr. David Crowe, Chief Economist at the National Association of Home Builders, followed by a presentation from Elizabeth Hersh, Executive Director Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania.

As chief economist, Crowe is responsible for the NAHB’s forecasts of housing and economic trends, survey research and analysis of the home building industry and consumer preferences as well as microeconomic analysis of government policies that affect housing.

Elizabeth Hersh, Executive Director, Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania will discuss the foreclosure crisis, finding homes working families can afford to rent or buy, and a discussion on how large a role the state should play in providing incentives for construction or rehabilitation of properties.

The Housing Symposium will take place following the Institute for Public Policy’s Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties Indicators Forum, which will occur at the Scranton Radisson from 8:30 am—noon on the same day.

For more information, click here to view the pdf.

Home Rehabilitation Loans Available

January 6th, 2010

Neighborhood Housing Services of Lackawanna County (NHS) is pleased to introduce its new Home Rehabilitation Loan. This income-eligible product provides funds in the form of a low?interest loan designed to address emergency repair needs and/or long?term safety, energy efficiency or livability improvements for area homes. NHS is especially committed to working with homeowners who may have difficulty obtaining financing through traditional methods.

Loans are available for:

  • Roof Repair
  • Water heater replacement
  • Furnace Replacement
  • Windows
  • Insulation

The Home Rehabilitation Loan was designed by Neighborhood Housing Services of Lackawanna County (NHS) to address the home rehabilitation needs of (primarily) low to moderate (up to 100% of HUD Area Median Income or AMI) income families in our region. However, due to the current economic climate, borrowers with a gross income of between 100% and 150% of HUD AMI will also be eligible for this product at the discretion of NHS. Specific borrower guidelines are:

Household Size 100% AMI 150% AMI
1 $39,600 $59,400
2 $45,300 $67,950
3 $50,900 $76,350
4 $56,600 $84,900
5 $61,100 $91,650
6 $65,700 $98,550

For more information on NHS’s Home Rehabilitation Loan and more specific eligibility criteria, you can download the informational PDF or call David J. Gaiardo at 570-558-2490.

Spanish version of housing websites is available

September 3rd, 2009

Please check out the Spanish version of the housing websites.



This user friendly resource is a great tool for those in our region who are Spanish speakers.

Mortgage calculator

February 13th, 2009

Where can I find a mortgage calculator?


Luzerne County

February 13th, 2009

Where can I find information about Luzerne County?


Lackawanna County School Districts

February 13th, 2009

I am looking to move to Lackawanna County.  Where can I find information about school districts?


2009 Housing Symposium

February 9th, 2009

The Housing Task Force of the Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development in conjunction with the Lackawanna Housing Coalition and Luzerne County Housing Partnership is conducting a Housing Symposium on Wednesday, March 11, 2009, at the Quality Inn, Rt. 315, Pittston, from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

David Crowe, Chief Economist at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), will be the keynote speaker. Cost is $25 prior to the event and $30 on the day of the event. Registration begins at 8:15 a.m. and breakfast will be served.

Download an event application.