2. First Time Home Buyer Education
Education is Empowerment
First time homebuyer education, also called first time homebuyer counseling, is a requirement of many buyer assistance programs.
If you are not a first time homebuyer, homeownership counseling is not required. If you would still like to attend first time homebuyer counseling, it is available to anyone wishing to go to the classes.
Homebuyer education will give you a strong homeownership foundation when starting the home buying process.
Homebuyer counseling programs required as part of the qualifying process must be approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
There are both in person, and online homebuyer counseling programs that will meet the requirements of most assistance programs, and meet HUD requirements.
Resource: HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies
Homebuyer counseling will provide you with a great starting point, and is significantly better than not having any counseling at all.
Education provided by HUD approved counseling agencies can be very broad, and may not specifically address your ability to qualify for the financing to buy the home.
You can of course go to the internet in search of answers, but you’re playing a dangerous game of chance over the accuracy of the content, the context of the answers, and the experience of the author of that information.
Much of the information out there is very vague, out of date, or, in a lot of cases, just plain inaccurate.
This series is designed to dig deep into each step of the qualifying process from the perspective of a lender that helps people buy homes every day.
Do not expect to have one hundred percent competence and confidence about the home buying process at the end of this journey.
What you can expect, is that you will not be going into the home buying process blind, with no way to audit the performance of your home buying team.
Knowing what you’re getting yourself into is half the battle!
There are many competitive advantages for those that come the home buying process highly prepared, and in the right state of mind. A “well researched” buyer is not wasting energy on non-essential things. An Empowered Consumer is looking out for competitive advantages.
The purpose of being educated and empowered is to prevent surprises and eliminate delays. If you’re a good student, you will quickly understand the context of each stage, and be able to anticipate the timelines for each step of the home buying process.
Working with a lender and real estate agent that focuses on education and preparedness will put you in a much better position to have your offer accepted.
Once you are confident about your financing, lender, and agent, you will be armed with multiple variations of know the limits of your flexibility should you find yourself in a competitive sellers market.
Competitive advantages come to those that are prepared. When you are prepared, you are confident. When you are confident, you are free to be open to identifying, and taking advantage of competitive opportunities and advantages.
I talk to prospective homebuyers every single day. There is a distinct difference between the conversations I have with those that have been doing their homework, and those that don’t quite understand the process before them.
Preparedness is the key to graduating with honors. You’ve heard the definition of luck, right? It’s when “preparedness meets opportunity”. You may need this “luck” to ensure a smooth transaction, or better yet, gain a competitive advantage.
I want to make sure that if I leave you with one thing to take away from this article, I want to make sure that you know that I’m not suggesting that something will go wrong when you buy a home.
What I want to leave you with, after almost 20 years of experience, is that you have to be prepared for anything.