One of the most significant rewards of a career in the housing industry is assisting first-time homebuyers to achieve their dream of homeownership. However, homeownership comes with both rewards and risks. While our mortgage loan originators share their experience with all buyers, first-time buyers can often benefit from attending a homebuyer workshop.
Nearly all special first-time homebuyer loan programs, including down payment and closing cost assistance programs, require prospective homeowners to complete HUD-approved education and counseling. However, it’s a good idea for all first-time homebuyers to take a class as it provides an opportunity to ask your pressing questions and receive answers to those questions you didn’t know to ask.
It’s easy to view this requirement as an obstacle that slows down the mortgage loan process and home sale transaction. But, those with clearer vision understand that educational resources bridge the gap in knowledge about buying a home and being a successful homeowner.
Benefits for first-time homebuyers
Aside from the fact that some loan programs require first-time homebuyers to complete an approved education course, there as many excellent reasons to embrace homeownership education.
- Prospective buyers are better prepared. A home purchase transaction, including the process of obtaining a mortgage, can be complex. Prospective buyers who use educational resources have a better understanding of the documents they will need to apply for a loan. They also are likely to have a better grasp of the importance of budgeting, saving and maintaining a solid credit history. In short, these home buyers are positioned to more smoothly navigate the experience of purchasing a home.
- New homeowners better understand the costs of owning a home. From small repairs to larger maintenance projects, like fixing a roof, maintaining a home costs money. Educated homeowners are less likely to be surprised when they learn that they may need to spend hundreds of dollars a year to keep their homes in good condition. They are also more likely to understand the need to budget for other costs – such as higher utilities bills, lawn and yard maintenance, and annual homeowner association fees, if applicable.
- Owners are better prepared when misfortune occurs. Life can throw curve balls. Injury, illness, divorce, job loss and other events that impact a household’s finances happen to nearly everyone. Reputable homeowner education resources encourage reaching out to the lender, if the homeowner is facing financial hardship. No one wins when a homeowner faces foreclosure, and solutions exist for addressing late mortgage payments. Owners who take advantage of educational resources know that contacting their lender is the best strategy – the sooner the better.
Lack of knowledge about the home loan process, and the availability of affordable loan products and down payment assistance programs, may hold people back. Anxiety about the responsibilities attached to being a homeowner may also be a factor.
By encouraging prospective buyers to embrace opportunities to educate themselves, you can help bridge the knowledge gap. And, you will be rewarded with even more smiling faces as families and individuals receive the keys to the very first home of their own.
Apr 01, 2019