Educate your clients about the home buying process Elisa Blackhomebuyer education, resources for first-time homebuyers
"The more you know" is the familiar slogan on television public
service announcements. Turns out, it holds true in the home buying
arena as well. Education courses can dispel home buying myths,
teach money management and decrease default rates.
In a recent news release, U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso
Jackson stressed the importance of homebuyer education. "The home
buying experience can be extremely daunting. An understanding of
the basics of the process is the key to easing those concerns and
A good first-time homebuyer class covers personal finance as
well as mortgage issues. GMAC
Mortgage recently published survey results gleaned from 1,000
potential homebuyers nationwide. Consumers expressed greater
concern about understanding the financing behind the home than
finding the actual home itself. Managing debt and finding the right
loan were the top two worries listed by potential homebuyers.
Increasingly, mortgage professionals are educating their customers
about the financial aspects of homeownership, while they find their
customers the right loan.
Homebuyer education is also the key to decreasing the default
rate on home loans. Community Action
Services in Provo, Utah has seen a dramatic drop in default
rates among homeowners who completed their homebuyer and mortgage
counseling program less than half the national average.
Real estate professionals in all aspects of the business are
recognizing the need for homebuyer education, and creating or
sponsoring programs to meet the demand. At Homebuyers University,
first-time homebuyers learn about credit, personal finance and
predatory lending as well as the purchase of a home. The university
is sponsored by the non-profit organization Homebuyers Inc. The
positive response from attendees confirms the demand for such
"Everyone should go through such a course, not only before
buying a house, but before starting out on their own, said one
enthusiastic buyer. "I'm signing my kids up."
Another said, "I've learned more about personal finance in the
last five hours than I have in a lifetime. I didn't know how bad
predatory lending was."
HUD has recently released five computer modules with titles such
as: The ABCs of Home Buying, Easy-to-Understand Mortgage Programs,
and 10 Homeownership Facts That Will Save You Thousands. Esther Foundation, another
non-profit homeownership program, offers a free online homebuyer
education course with HUD certification for $15. More and more
mortgage professionals are becoming actively involved with
educating their home loan customers. After all, more educated
homebuyers means a more stable marketplace.
Elisa Black is director of marketing and communications for
the Esther Foundation, a
Utah-based non-profit organization that works to strengthen
communities by helping people become homeowners. She can be reached
at (866) 743-7795 or e-mail [email protected]