NeighborWorks Lincoln program helps first time homebuyers

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Home-buying can be a daunting process, especially if you've never done it before. For people who don't make as much money, NeighborWorks Lincoln says homes in lower price ranges are becoming even more scarce as the market heats up.

Morgan Hermanek with Neighborworks Lincoln explains the homebuying process. (Source: KOLN/Madison Pitsch)

NeighborWorks is trying to simplify the process with the First Time Homebuyer program.

For one Lincoln woman, this program was essential in purchasing her first house in Lincoln.

"Everybody from NeighborWorks made it really easy, or as easy as buying a home can be," Lindsay Limbach said.

The four classes cover budgets, mortgages and even the real estate transaction process.

"It was a whirlwind of just everything," Limbach said. "To this day I just can't believe that it all happened; it all went so fast."

The class is geared toward low to moderate income ranges. NeighborWorks says buying a house in that price range can be difficult.

"The housing market in Lincoln is really scarce right now," said Morgan Hermanek with NeighborWorks Lincoln. "There's a huge need for affordable housing between the $90,000 - $140,000 range."

On Zillow, there are 88 homes available in that price range in Lincoln. That's about half as many the as the next price range up.

"There's a lot of competition in the market; a lot of these homes are not in good condition, so we're seeing a lot of need in that price range," Hermanek said.

Aside from walking you through the process, students can also qualify for a loan through the NeighborWorks program.

"This program really gives them confidence to move forward and provides them with information that they otherwise might not know," Hermaneck said.

NeighborWorks doesn't just give you the information and send you on your way, staff there help you through the buying process as well.

"I felt like I had my team there when I was closing, signing all the papers, and I feel like everyone was kind of rooting for me," Limbach said.

The class typically runs every month of the year and usually helps about 300 people. In the end, it averages about 60 homes being bought per year.

For more information on the First Time Home Buyer program, click here.