Nearly all home buying incentives require that you earn your Homeownership Counseling Certificate from an approved agency before making an offer on a home. Certificates are good for one year, so we recommend you take care of this early in the process so that when you do find your dream home, you can make an offer right away! There are a number of Homeownership Counseling Agencies (hyperlink https://www.chapa.org/housing-courses/homebuyer-education-agencies) dedicated to helping you sort out the nitty-gritty details of the home buying process. Your Counselor will also help you decide whether or not you are ready for homeownership, review any credit issues that need to be addressed, and help you understand where you stand financially. Acquiring a Certificate usually involves going to 2-3 group sessions, and one individual session. Contact the agencies to find out the specific requirements and fees. Many agencies also offer other services, such as post-purchase education, default and delinquency counseling, community outreach, and credit and budgeting classes.