How to Start Saving for a Home When You’re Still Renting

by Beth Kotz

If you’re used to living in a cramped apartment and paying rent to a landlord who never fixes anything, then you’ve probably dreamed about ending the tenant life and finding yourself a home to call your own. It doesn’t need to stop as a dream, nor does homeownership require extraordinary wealth. With some prioritizing, planning, research and smart money management, you can afford a down payment on a home. keep reading

Is Homebuyer Counseling Right for You? We Have the Answer.

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