First-time home buyers can find abundant information online, in books and articles, and at seminars given by real estate agents, lenders, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. While education about the buying process is essential, not every program provides information that can be used after the closing day.
Now Framework, an organization founded by two HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, offers an app that includes the upfront information and advice buyers need along with ongoing information and advice about homeownership. The app, called KeepHome, is designed to provide first-time and first-generation buyers with a variety of tools to use for years to come.
The Housing Partnership Network and the Minnesota Homeownership Center worked together to form Framework, which, according to their website, “approaches homeownership through a social justice lens working to democratize the homeownership process.”
The website and the app provide tools to establish a budget and to understand the financial side of buying and maintaining a home, along with courses and information about how to find a real estate agent, how to make an offer, and how to prepare for a closing and moving.
In addition, they provide extensive information about home maintenance and repairs, how to manage contractors, and tips about how to organize warranties and other household information. Homeowners can download a maintenance checklist and a free home maintenance booklet.
The app converts complicated or unfamiliar real estate terms such as “escrow” or “amortization” into simple language that buyers and homeowners can understand.
The goal of Framework and the Keep app is to help consumers build a more secure financial future for their family. The app and website are continually updated with new information based on buyer and homeowner feedback about whether it is user-friendly and contains information consumers need.
The Framework site also has developed a network of housing counselors to make it easier for buyers and homeowners to access individualized assistance when they need it.