Do you need a Massachusetts Homebuyer Education Certificate to qualify for a loan program or an affordable housing opportunity? Are you looking to buy a home, but not sure you can afford one? We offer the approved homebuyer education workshop that is required for Mass Housing programs, the MHP One Mortgage, or the Equity Builder programs as well as other down payment assistance or affordable housing opportunities. We do not attempt to sell you any goods or services; we do not receive any commissions. The fee is $100 per household and can be paid with the Buy Now button below. To register, see contact information below.

To register, or if you have any questions about the program, please send an email to Ellie O'Leary at or call 978-992-4106. Our mailing address is PO Box 453, Amesbury MA 01913


Sunday, August 22, 2021

Workshop Cancelation

 We are canceling the workshop scheduled for August 28 & 29, 2021 due to low enrollment and increased Covid concerns. We are offering you a few options.

  1. Register instead for one of our upcoming dates. September 25 & 26, October 23 & 24, November 20 & 21, or December 11 & 12. Of course, these plans are all pending on the same factors we are dealing with now. I wish I had better news.
  2. Do the Framework program online through us. You would still pay $100 to get your certificate - $75 to Framework for the program itself and $25 to Coastal for a one-on-one consultation conducted by phone. You would then sign up for Framework, pay them $75, and we would bill you $25 for the consultation. Framework is a set of 7 modules that you do in your own time. You do not have to attend something like a Zoom meeting. You can register using the link below.
Home - Framework Homeownership

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Two Options --- In-Person and Online

 We have two ways buyers can get a first-time homebuyer certificate - either by taking our in-person first-time homebuyer workshop ($100 per household) meeting in Newburyport or by taking the Framework online course ($75 per household) followed by a one-on-one consultation ($25) conducted by phone.

Buyers completing the in-person workshops get the CHAPA certificate, which is good for Mass Housing, the MHP One Mortgage, and other more local programs offered by local lenders. The workshops meet from noon to about 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday in downtown Newburyport. The address and parking arrangements are given to all registered households. We are not able to accommodate walk-ins.

Buyers doing the Framework program go through a set of seven modules, in their own time, answering a set of questions at the end of each module. Some people complete the program in a day or two, others may take longer depending on how often they log on. Once they have completed all the modules, we schedule a phone call in which they get to ask any questions they may still have. Those who complete the Framework program get the nationally recognized HUD certificate.

Occasionally a buyer takes the in-person workshop but later gets into a mortgage program that requires a HUD certificate. They can then take the Framework program, but I will waive the consultation.

When people ask me which first time homebuyer program is better, it’s difficult to say because each has its own advantages. The in-person workshop includes guest speakers who actually work in their field, their area of the whole real estate process. Participants get to ask questions of a home inspector, a lawyer, a realtor, or a mortgage originator. I explain it as a safe harbor. You can ask questions without having to make decisions. This may be better for people just starting out, who are just learning about the whole idea of buying their first home.

The Framework program, though, can be done quickly without having to wait for our next scheduled workshop. Occasionally I hear from people who are closing on their home very soon but now realize they need a certificate. They may need it within a week or just a few days. The Framework program is for them, especially if we just finished a workshop and won’t have another one that month.

The best time to take a first time homebuyer workshop is as early in the process as possible. People who take it at the end have consistently told me over the years that they wish they had taken it sooner.

So now we have two options. In-person and online. If you have any questions, please email me at Our schedule is listed on our blog and each workshop is listed on the CHAPA site.

Ellie O’Leary, Executive Director, Coastal Homebuyer Education Inc.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Our Workshops Are Coming Back - August 28 & 29

We are starting in person workshops again as of the last weekend in August, meeting in downtown Newburyport - the complete address and other details will be sent to everyone registered. The fee is $75 per household and preregistration is required. To register and receive further details email Ellie O'Leary at

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Workshops are Returning

 We are gearing up to offer in person workshops again this summer. We are still working out the details, but things are looking good. Meanwhile we can still offer a first time homebuyer certificate through the Framework Program. For more information email Ellie O'Leary at

Monday, June 22, 2020

Online Option

Unfortunately our in person workshops are on hold indefinitely. Right now, it looks like even starting up again in the fall may be overly optimistic. We do have another option, though, through our connection with Framework. You would take the online course and then schedule a one-on-one consultation that is conducted by phone. The fee to Framework is $75 and the fee to Coastal is $25. You register through the link below. Once you have completed all the modules on Framework, send me an email. I will then send you a PayPal invoice and schedule our phone call. These phone calls are taking about half an hour to forty five minutes depending on the questions the participants have. Even after the consultation, you can email again if you have further questions.

Here's the link:

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Framework - the online option

If you need a first time homebuyer certificate before you can get into an in-person workshop, we have an online option with Framework.

Friday, March 13, 2020


Our workshop scheduled for March 28 & 29, has been canceled. We were scheduled to meet at the community room of the Institution for Savings, but they are shutting that room down due to the covid-19 virus.