Training course for home buyers: what to expect as a first-time buyer

Many homebuyer assistance programs and some mortgage lenders require borrowers to take a homebuyer education course.

If you are a first time buyer, it’s a good idea to find out what educational opportunities are available to you, even if you don’t have to take a course, and take the time to educate yourself about the buying process. a home and homeownership before you complete your home purchase.

What is an education course for home buyers?

A training course for home buyers is an online or in-person course that you can take to better understand what it entails. find, buy and own a house. Your mortgage lender may ask you to take this course or, if you are in a program down payment assistance or other housing finance program.

“This course explains the process of buying a home, what a borrower needs to be approved for a mortgage, the benefits of homeownership, the challenges of homeownership, and the mortgage and loan terms, ”explains Wil Hendrix-Griffin, responsible for affordable loans. for PNC Bank in Downers Grove, Illinois.

Sometimes the course is offered as a pass / fail class, says Hendrix-Griffin, and the buyer usually receives a certificate upon completion of the course. Other courses have some type of scoring system, such as the Home Buyers Training Course offered by Take Charge America, a Phoenix-based nonprofit credit counseling agency.

“In our course, participants carefully review the content and their knowledge is periodically tested using a series of quizzes,” says Jeremy Wine, head of housing counseling within the organization, which offers the course to students. buyers from all 50 states. “Those who achieve a cumulative score of 70% or more will pass our course and receive a certificate of completion. “

What you can learn from a homebuyer training course

Homebuyers’ training courses “walk you through the entire journey, from whether you’re ready and from finding listings to finding a lender, to preparing an offer.” , finalizing a purchase and living in your new home, ”says Danielle Samalin, CEO of Framework Homeownership, a national provider of online training courses for home buyers.

“The best courses also have additional content for people who want to learn more,” says Samalin.

Wine says you can expect to learn more about concepts like:

However, each course is different and depends on the organization offering it and the extent of the material it covers. There is also a difference between attending a course in person and taking an online course.

“The best courses are face-to-face courses that allow for substantial interaction within the classroom and with the instructor,” says Tony Julianelle, CEO of Atlas Real Estate in Denver. “Ideally, the course should give you time to develop a family budget and work through various scenarios, such as how you might pay for a major repair if it were necessary.”

Cost of a training course for home buyers

Many homebuyer training courses charge a nominal fee that you have to pay out of pocket. Some courses are offered free of charge, either funded by your lender, real estate agent, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), or the organization offering the course.

“I saw that these fees ranged from $ 25 to $ 125 or more,” says Samalin, who notes that his organization’s course costs $ 75.

Julianelle cautions that a free course that you find on your own may not be a HUD certified course that meets the terms of the lender or agency that requires you to take it. So, before registering for and completing a Home Buyers Training Course, be sure to confirm that it is a HUD approved course.

How long does a homebuyer training course last?

Many homebuyer’s training courses are four to eight hours long and can be completed over a day or two, either online through a website or app, or in a physical location like your real estate agent’s office or from your lender, says Hendrix-Griffin.

“Most of the courses offered online allow you to take them at your own pace,” notes Julianelle.

When to take a homeownership course

It is best to take a homebuyer training course as soon as possible, well before you close your mortgage. Wine says most buyers complete their course before they begin their home search.

“It is good practice to complete this training as soon as you know you will need it so that you can find a class that works in a short period of time,” says Julianelle. “Classes fill up quickly in most HUD certified courses.”

How To Find Training Courses For Home Buyers

Most training courses for home buyers and first-time buyer Classes are offered by lenders, nonprofit housing counselors, community development corporations, organizations offering down payment assistance, and real estate brokerages, says Hendrix-Griffin.

To find a housing counseling agency and course near you, visit this list provided by HUD, or consult your national housing finance authority (see this additional HUD directory) for information.

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