Habitat Chicago believes every homeowner should have the tools needed to be successful for many years to come. 


All Habitat Homebuyers complete a series of weekend and evening courses over six to nine months. During this time, you will be part of a cohort to provide you with support during this process. Friends, family and other current or prospective homeowners are also welcome to attend. Most themes will be taught two-to-a-day in order to use your time most effectively.


Course Themes

  • Welcome: You will receive an in-depth overview of Habitat Chicago's Affordable Homeownership Program, including expectations for volunteering, financial commitments, other funder and partner criteria. 


  • Media and Communications: Because Habitat Homebuyers often receive attention for their participation in our program, we provide techniques to help you effectively tell your story.


  • Building Community: Through discussion and reflection, you will gain insight on effective community and civic engagement and explore ways to get involved, such as forming or becoming a part of block clubs and associations.


  • Budgeting and Borrowing Basics: Includes borrowing basics for various types of loans and how to avoid predatory lending, the financial considerations of purchasing a home, how to manage money, and how to save more money.


  • Credit Management: You will learn how to assess your current credit situation and how to maintain or improve its health. We will also cover the implication of homeownership on credit.


  • Mortgages and Deeds: You will learn about mortgages and deeds, purchase contracts, Good Faith Estimates, Truth In Lending, as well as other relevant information.


  • Estate Planning: You will learn about the importance of planning for the future, including wills, power of attorney and more.


  • Property Insurance: You will learn about the importance of property insurance, things to consider when searching for insurance, and the factors that go into its cost.


  • Property Taxes: You will receive information about Cook County taxes for homeowners, how taxes are assessed, and how to manage your rates.


  • Homeowner Success: This course will get you ready for all of the details of your first year of homeownership, from putting a move plan together to getting your services set up on time to setting up automatic mortgage payments. We will also cover the implications of foreclosure and how to avoid it.  


  • Home Maintenance and Warranties: You will learn how to properly maintain your home, and make basic repairs through DIY techniques, and access your warranties if needed.


  • HUD-Certified First Time Homebuyer Course: You will be made aware of topics related to the first-time homeownership experience, like closings, mortgages and credit.


Get Started

Ready to begin the exciting homebuyer process? Take a look at our calendar of events for upcoming classes or visit our Affordable Homeownership Program page to learn about applying for homeownership with Habitat Chicago. 


Need more information? Contact us at application@habitatchicago.org.




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