There are many ways to improve your qualification for a mortgage, ensure lower mortgage rates, and get assistance covering your down payment and closing costs.

Before you even begin your home search, we encourage you to explore these local and national home buying resources.

OnTrack WNC

OnTrack Financial Education & Counseling (OnTrack WNC) is the region’s trusted nonprofit source for financial education and counseling.

OnTrack WNC is a private nonprofit, community-supported, United Way agency. Since 1973, they have helped people better manage their money and credit through education programs, individual counseling appointments, and debt management programs. Whether you need help getting out of debt, creating a budget to purchase a home, or planning for retirement, they have a service that will provide financial clarity for your situation.

Their available classes include:

OnTrack’s service area includes Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Clay, Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Swain (Cherokee Reservation), Transylvania, Watauga, and Yancey Counties.

OnTrack WNC
Main Office: United Way Building, 50 South French Broad Avenue, Suite 227, Asheville
(828) 255-5166

Mountain Housing Opportunities

Mountain Housing Opportunities (MHO) is a private, nonprofit community development corporation. They work to build and improve homes, neighborhoods, communities, and lives, and build hope and dignity in the people served. Each year, the organization serves more than 600 households and builds an average of 60+ new homes.

MHO offers several programs to help lower-income families achieve the dream of homeownership:

Turn-Key Homeownership Program

MHO’s Turn-Key Homeownership Program offers new, energy-efficient homes with built-in, no-interest, deferred financing in amounts up to 30% of the purchase price. With deferred financing, first mortgage amounts may be as low as $120,000. Learn more.

Downpayment Assistance Program

Downpayment Assistance can fill the cash gap between the amount of your first mortgage and the total cost to purchase a home. While these loan funds can be used for down payment, they can also be used to cover closing costs or to simply increase your purchasing power. Learn more.

Self-Help Homeownership

With the Self-Help program, neighbors work alongside one another to build community from the ground up. The program is labor intensive, but also immensely rewarding. Learn more.

USDA Direct Loan Packaging

If you are buying a home in an eligible suburban or rural area, MHO can help. They partner with USDA to provide section 502 direct home loans. These are low-interest loans with supplemental payment assistance. Assistance is based on household income, ensuring affordable monthly payments. Learn more.

Mountain Housing Opportunities
64 Clingman Avenue, Suite 101, Asheville
(828) 254-4030


In 2013, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a rule to integrate disclosures and regulations required by RESPA and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA).

The final rule, called TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID), does several things:

  • Integrates existing disclosures with new requirements from the Dodd-Frank Act to improve consumer understanding of the mortgage process.
  • Serves as an aid in comparison shopping.
  • Helps prevent surprises at the closing table.

In short, the focus of this guide is to provide the instructions for completing the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure. The guide also highlights common situations that may arise when completing the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure.

Click here for a PDF copy of the TRID Guide.

Government Assistance

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) actively supports first-time homebuyers. But even if this is not your first home, you may still qualify for benefits.

Here are who HUD considers a “first-time homebuyer”:

  • An individual who has had no ownership in a principal residence during the 3-year period ending on the date of purchase of the property. This includes a spouse (if either meets the above test, they are considered first-time homebuyers).
  • A single parent who has only owned with a former spouse while married.
  • An individual who is a displaced homemaker and has only owned with a spouse.
  • An individual who has only owned a principal residence not permanently affixed to a permanent foundation in accordance with applicable regulations.
  • An individual who has only owned a property that was not in compliance with state, local or model building codes and which cannot be brought into compliance for less than the cost of constructing a permanent structure.

If this is you, you may benefit from various HUD-funded programs including loan programs that offer lower down payments to teachers, firefighters, and other vocations.

HUD also offers federal assistance at the state level. In North Carolina, Homeowner Assistance Programs include:

HUD also assists with:

Learn more about HUD homebuyer programs at hud.gov.