Preparing for Ownership

Preparing for OwnershipMother and Child Sit on Front Porch with a White Chair

The majority of families enter a lottery several times before having the opportunity to own. While you’re waiting, there are some things you can do to get ready.

Step 1: Start Saving Money

The JTCAH requires a minimum 3.5% down payment. Additionally, the more money you can put towards a down payment, the less money you’ll spend on mortgage payments when you purchase the home. There are also closing costs that you’ll need to cover, which are approximately 2% of the cost of the home.

Step 2: Employment Verification

You will need to verify hours/years worked to receive preference in the lottery. An Affidavit of Current Employment and Affidavits of Previous Employment completed by current or former employers are the best way to verify the hours/years you have worked in Teton County. The Housing Department will keep Affidavits on file. Affidavits for Current Employment are good for six months. A new one will be needed after six months or if there is a change in employment.

Step 3: Homebuyer Education

All first-time home buyers of JTCAH homes must take a home buyer’s education course before entering a lottery, view the Wyoming Housing Network website to begin this course. The class introduces you to the process of buying a home. It’s a one-time approximately five-hour course that you can take online. Contact us or visit our website to sign up. This course certification is good indefinitely, and JTCAH will keep it on file once you submit it.

Step 4: Talk to a Lender

You must talk to a lender before entering a lottery. Talking to a lender will give you a sense of what you can afford and  what the monthly payment will look like. Your lender can also advise you on how much money to save for the down payment and closing costs. Additionally, since good credit scores tend to get better interest rates, your lender can talk to you about your credit history and how it may affect your loan. Have your lender complete the Housing Department's Lenders Qualification Form (PDF)  so you can attach it to your Lottery Entry when you wish to enter a lottery. This Lender’s Qualification will need to be renewed annually. The Housing Department will keep it on file for one year from it’s date.

Step 5: Credit Report

The Housing Department will pull a complete three bureau credit report for you for a fee. You can also go to creditkarma.com and register to get a complete credit report for no charge. They will only let you print one bureau at a time. The Housing Department will accept a one bureau credit report from creditkarma.com, however it must be a complete credit report showing your credit score and all accounts. To print your credit report from creditkarma.com go the the website and register. Click on one of the credit scores that show at the top of the page. Then click on Credit Report. Click on Print Report.  The Housing Department will keep your credit report on file for one year.

Step 6: Prepare Paperwork

Part of applying for a home includes gathering some paper-work, including your tax returns and W2s. The JTCAH uses this  information to verify that your income fits within a required income range and that you work locally. We require your tax returns and W2s from the past two years, but if you’re self-employed, we require tax returns and W2s/1099s etc. from the past three years. We recommend compiling this paperwork early, so it’s easy to hand in when you apply.