I-Team: Home Ownership 101 - 8 News NOW

Desert Underwater

I-Team: Home Ownership 101

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Crystal Celis Crystal Celis

LAS VEGAS -- Nevadans looking to save their homes often find themselves lacking the inside knowledge of what it takes to prevent foreclosure.

The foreclosure crisis has forced a lot Nevadans to become very familiar with the terms and conditions of mediations, short sales, evictions and dozens of other housing topics. Now, there's a growing number of places teaching people how to work within the system to buy their first home, or save the one they already have.

Heather Sanchez teaches class to a room full of 50 adults on a Saturday. The HUD certified counselor with Housing for Nevada teaches Home Ownership 101.

"When we had people losing their homes, I started to talk to them about what it was going to take for them to be able to purchase again. At that point, it was more about damage control," Sanchez said. 

"It's really easy to get stuck in that place of woe is me, I've lost my house and now everything is kind of shot. It's really easy to rebuild credit. It's way more easy than people think it is," Sanchez added.

"I'm frustrated. I'm really frustrated. I'm angry. I'm angry that we gave the banks $800 billion," said Michael Evans who is looking to buy a home and finding it difficult to get back into the market.

"The most important thing that they're really teaching us here is make sure you have a nest egg sitting there even once you buy your house," Evans said.

But for every person beat down by the foreclosure crisis in the class, there is another student fresh with hope.

"I think this is just awesome," said Crystal Celis. The 23-year-old restaurant manager is looking to buy a her first home. "I can't believe that all this help was here the whole time and I didn't know about it."

There's an alphabet soup of agencies offering free federally-approved counseling. In addition to Housing for Nevada, there's Consumer Credit Counseling Services, Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority, Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, and the Housing Counseling Agencies.

Sanchez is beginning to see those she helped years ago come back as they rebound from the housing crisis.

Sanchez talks about one of her students and how he lost his home and ruined his credit and managed to recover.

"He did everything that I told him to. You think that you talk and talk and you don't know what people are retaining. He did everything I told him and came back with a 700 credit score and he's in a house now."

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