Finding a housing counselor can be a good idea for first time renters, or those who feel they need assistance with finding affordable housing as tenants. Housing counseling services are often provided on a state level. Some of them may be associated with the national Housing and Urban Development agency. Others are simply local resources aimed at helping residents find solutions for renting or buying homes in an area.
What Housing Counselors Can Do for Renters
A housing counselor can help those who are looking at renting for the first time to determine what they need and how they will go about getting it. They can provide advice on how to locate affordable rentals. Housing counselors can also advise first time renters or low income renters about their rights under the law. They can advise on housing issues from discrimination to fair lease agreement issues.
Housing counselors would generally not be able to offer financial assistance to renters. They are not likely to offer direct legal assistance, either. A housing counselor is a resource for those who need information and guidance on successfully renting in a specific community. A housing counselor can help a renting household craft a household budget for managing income, or a housing counselor service can help these individuals to apply for housing assistance as needed from a state or federal agency. Because not all of the general population knows a lot about specific housing requirements for tenants, housing counselors are critical in helping families understand how they can find homes in a particular state, and how to plan for the best chance at staying in a home for the long term.
More about the Role of Housing Counselors
In many states and locations, housing counselors do a lot more work with homeowners for potential home buyers. Housing counselors help families who are looking at first time home buying to know what they can afford and how to go through the complicated process of getting approved for a mortgage. Housing counselors also help homeowners who are in danger of foreclosure, I counseling on what these individuals can do to protect their assets. For example, when local homeowners encounter extreme mortgage increases due to the readjustment of a ARM or adjustable rate mortgage, housing counselors may be able to offer financial tools to help navigate this scary scenario, when the prospect of losing their home has households confused and afraid.
Finding Housing Counselors and Similar Resources
Because so much is offered at a state level, renters with questions about housing counseling services should seek out the appropriate state agencies, through the Internet, or through contacting local government information offices that will point them in the right direction to be hooked up with a housing counselor. A housing counselor can mean the difference between successful housing solutions and a long, drawn-out process for those who have difficulty getting into a long-term rental situation or finding a lender for a mortgage on a home.