We all know April is tax month, but did you know it’s also Financial Literacy Month? Maybe you’ve got the basics of budgeting and saving down, but you’re unsure of the steps you need to take to reach your longer term financial goals. keep reading
Category: Homebuyer education
Buying a home can be overwhelming. You may feel like you are there’s a list a mile long standing between you and your next home. Does homebuyer counseling or homeownership education seem like just another hurdle to homeownership?
It’s true that homebuyer counseling will take additional time. But, there’s a positive payoff—and studies to prove it.
A US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) report released in June 2016 found that pre-purchase education leads to improved mortgage literacy, greater appreciation for communication with lenders and better underwriting qualifications. This national study is ongoing so we’ll continue to learn how counseling can significantly diminish the risks associated with homeownership. Plus, a Vanderbilt study found that first-time homebuyers who attended the Tennessee Housing Development Agency’s homebuyer education course were 42 percent less likely to lose their home to foreclosure.
Is homebuyer counseling required?
Most down payment programs require the recipient participate in homebuyer education, most often through a HUD-approved counselor or agency. The time investment ranges. Some are offered in person and may require a Saturday commitment, but today more are offered online so you can complete the course when it’s convenient for you. In fact, more than 50 percent of programs in Down Payment Resource accept online education certificates. keep reading
You’ve heard the news—interest rates are at historic lows. That’s great news, but when other expenses like rent and utilities are increasing, it makes it hard to save for a down payment. You’re not alone in this challenge—access to a down payment still remains the number one obstacle for homebuyers.
Down payment programs largely untapped
Down payment assistance can make a significant impact to your home buying bottom line, and it’s never been truer than in today’s market. According to our latest Homeownership Program Index, there are nearly 2,500 homeownership programs available across the country (find out what’s in your backyard here). Yet, many homebuyers are unaware of the programs that are available to them.
In fact, a survey by NeighborWorks America found that 40 percent of respondents did not receive any information about down payment programs for middle-income homebuyers.
How do these programs help you? We review the top six ways you (and the housing market) can benefit:
1. Helps you purchase a home sooner. Many buyers remain on the sidelines, saving money and watching interest rates. Down payment programs may provide grants (gifts) or forgivable loans for your down payment and closing costs. These resources can immediately build your buying power, helping you take action on a purchase more quickly. keep reading