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Most First-Time Buyers Prefer Remote Financial Literacy Counseling

Phil Hall
Oct 01, 2019
Photo credit: Getty Images/vadimguzhva

When it comes to financial counseling for newcomers to the homebuyer market, the majority of first-time buyers prefer to receive their information remotely rather than during in-person courses, according to a new study from Abt Associates.
Using data regarding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) First-Time Homebuyer Education and Counseling Demonstration involving 6,000 prospective newcomers to homebuying in 28 large metro areas, the study found three-fourths of the participants preferred remote services (defined as online education and one-on-one telephone counseling) versus in-person services (defined as group education workshops and in-person one-on-one counseling). Approximately two-thirds of those who were offered remote services accepted the offer, while early-stage buyers more often chose in-person servcies. Women and those with higher levels of education were more likely to participate in these services, but the study found no statistically significant predicators of participation based on race and ethnicity, age, marital status and household size.  were not statistically significant predictors of participation in services.
“The findings in this analysis provide lessons for how agencies market homebuyer education and counseling services to prospective clients,” said Shawn Moulton, Abt scientist and one of the authors of the study. “This research sample comes by way of lender referrals and is not typical of the clientele that federal agencies target and serve, but the sample still serves as a rich and diverse source of useful information.”

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