Do you want to be a homeowner, but aren’t sure where to start? We’ll help you figure it out. Come join us and your peers for this four-class series to learn the ins and outs of buying, budgeting for, and maintaining a home. This program is open to the public, and anyone is welcome to enroll in the series. 


Everyone starts somewhere  

For many people, achieving first-time homeownership requires building credit, managing debt, and establishing and building long-term savings. While enrolled in Homebuyer University, you will learn about all of these topics and more from experts in the financial and real-estate fields and have the opportunity to talk with these experts in a low-stress, informal classroom setting. Class-by-class, Habitat Chicago will take you through the process of creating a personal action plan with goals and next steps that are right for you. You will walk away with the tools and confidence to become a homeowner.  



Comprehensive training: Students will attend a series of four day-long classes over six weeks, covering topics that include:  

  • Financial Literacy and Planning  

  • Building Credit 

  • Assessing Both Homes and Neighborhoods

  • Preparing and Qualifying for Homeownership 

  • Laws that Govern the Loan Application Process

  • Legal and Financial Responsibilities of Homeownership 

  • Home Maintenance and Repairs Planning 


Coaching: Each participant will work through a personal development plan based on individual assessments and goals. You will have the opportunity to meet with a financial advisor at the end of the program to finalize your action plan for future homeownership. 


Financing options: You will be introduced to a range of financing options and their implications in the home buying process, including down payment and closing assistance. 


Effort: Homebuyer University courses cover several topics, but the information is all connected. Each class builds on the material presented in previous classes, and you will interact with the curriculum both inside and outside of the classroom. By preparing for each class and working through your personalized action plans, you can get the most out of the program. 


Homebuyer University classes 

Classes will take place every other Saturday over the course of six weeks. Here’s a breakdown of each class: 


Class 1: Beginning your Homeownership Journey 

We’ll start this course by discussing the benefits and responsibilities associated with homeownership, and what tools are available to you as you begin the process of choosing a home and neighborhood. Next, we will review the loan application process, what documents are expected, and how lenders assess different part of your application. You will begin to prepare for your own loan application by identifying and collecting documents needed to apply for a home loan. 


Class 2: Financial Planning 

During this class, we will focus on credit and financial planning. We will review how credit impacts the home loan process, and based on your personal credit report, you will establish action steps to build, repair, or improve your credit. We will provide referrals to organizations that have been approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for free credit and debt counseling. Once you’ve established your credit to-dos, you will learn strategies for building a long-term, realistic financial budget based on your personal and homeownership goals. 


Class 3: Purchasing a Home

This class will provide an overview of the home buying process, from research to closing. Instructors will discuss each step in the home purchasing process, and you will leave with an understanding of which resources and professional services you may need as you plan to buy a home. Together, we will discuss the total cost of a home and take a deeper dive into the details of monthly mortgages, the legal documents that support homeownership, the process of researching potential homes, and applying for a loan that’s right for you. 


Class 4: Preparing for Successful Homeownership 

On the last day of classes, we will review the legal and financial responsibilities of homeownership and best practices for maintaining a healthy mortgage. We will cover financial, legal, and physical upkeep strategies that you can leverage to increase the value of your home as an asset. Next, you will conduct a question and answer session as a class with several lenders as you learn about the home loan products they offer. And finally, you will wrap up the series by meeting individually with a financial advisor to finalize your personal homeownership goals and action plan. 


Class attendance 

The content covered in each class directly relates to the content covered in the previous classes and so it is important for students to attend every class in the series. We want you to graduate from the program with a full picture of where you stand, what you will need to do to apply for a home loan, and the action steps and resources you will need to become a homeowner.  



There is a fee of $25 for enrollment in the program, which will help to cover course materials and lunch for each of the four classes. This fee is non-refundable and can be paid at the time of registration. 


Is this right for you? 

Habitat Chicago’s Homebuyer University courses are open to the public, and anyone is welcome to enroll in the series. This program could be right for you if you are: 

  • Interested in becoming a homebuyer in the near future, 

  • Unsure of the options and/or qualifications for buying a home, 

  • Or interested in exploring homeownership but have been denied a mortgage in the past. 



To see upcoming series dates, please visit our events listing page and look for Homebuyer University. From there, you will be taken to an EventBrite page to enroll and pay for the course.   



Interest List

If you'd like to be notified of future course enrollment openings, sign up for our Homeownership Interest List to receive email updates. 

Interest List



You can contact our Homeownership programming team by calling (312) 563-0296 x315 or emailing 





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