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Online Counseling: eHome vs Framework

Online Counseling: eHome vs Framework

The changing consumer environment means that housing counseling agencies may have difficulty reaching all potential first time homebuyers. Clients may be too busy during scheduled counseling and workshop hours, or they may be unable to easily visit the agency’s office at all. Today’s consumers want content online and on demand, whether it is recreational or educational. And though Khan Academy, the popular math and science education portal, has a few lessons on mortgages, they’re short, outdated, and not HUD certified. Enter eHome and Framework, the lead providers of HUD-certified online homeownership education.

While they can’t entirely replicate the personalized experience of in-person counseling, these courses cover everything first-time homebuyers need to know about the homebuying process. Both issue certificates upon completion that are accepted by agencies and lenders. The material is mostly the same – both curricula are HUD certified and meet the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling.

eHome is more like an electronic textbook, with short videos introducing concepts that are expanded on in text. Chapter resources such as introductions, key terms, worksheets, and documents are displayed to the right of related text. Framework is presented as a colorful narrative of a prospective first time homebuyer going through the counseling and home buying process. Key figures such as counselors, mortgage officers, and real estate agents are introduced as illustrated smiling professionals. The curriculum includes interactive activities, a glossary, and printable worksheets and sample documents.

eHome uses multiple choice quizzes to test users, who must pass each chapter’s quiz before they can continue. Framework tests users’ comprehension with self-grade written quizzes that do not have to be passed before advancing to the next chapter.

Online counseling also represents a funding opportunity for housing counseling agencies. Users must register for eHome through one of its more than 300 partner agencies, including NYMC partner agenciesCypress Hills Local Development Corp, CDC of Long Island and Housing Action Council. Framework has a revenue share model in which counseling agencies receive 20% of the consumer fee. Partners can also purchase discount coupons for Framework to give to their clients.

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eHome America

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Framework
Background Information: Launched 2009
Over 42,000 completed the course and received a certificate.

90% of all registrants complete the course.

Created by NeighborWorks America and Community Ventures Corporation.

Created 2011, launched 2012
Over 2000 purchased the course. Over 1800 have completed and received a certificate.

90% of all registrants complete the course.

Created by Housing Partnership Network and Minnesota Homeownership Center.

Price/Cost: $99
There is a $1,000 licensing and setup fee. eHome retains an admin fee anywhere from $12 to $20.

$75
No licensing or set up fee. Partners receive 20% of the consumer fee and may charge separately for additional value-add services.

Course Length 8+ hours, 6 units 4-6 hours, 9 units
Format Video and text course on home buying process. Resources include a glossary of key terms, worksheets, and printable documents. Simulation of home buying process with animated graphics and interactive activities. Includes glossary, printable worksheets and sample documents.

Evaluation Measures content comprehension via 47 quizzes and 6 tests, all of which have to be passed with at least 80% accuracy before clients can move forward in the course. 9 units, Final Exam, and an Exit Survey. Unit quizzes are self-graded and do not have to be passed before clients can move forward. Final Exam must be passed with over 80% in order to receive the certificate of completion.
Certificate: The prospective homeowner must meet with a homeownership counselor before obtaining the completion certificate.

Framework does not allow Partners to withhold a certificate from a Framework user, however, several members have developed hybrid platforms to complement Framework and issue a second certificate. Partner lenders in those cases require both certificates.
Languages: English and Spanish English and Spanish
For more information, visit http://ehomeamerica.org/ and http://www.frameworkhomeownership.org/.

Edited July 8, 2014: Corrections to eHome’s price and Framework’s features, revenue model, and language.

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