“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” – Lao Tzu
Purchasing your first home can be quite overwhelming. The first step on the journey to home ownership is to educate yourself by consulting with industry professionals. There are multiple ways to go about this which include attending a first-time home buyer seminar or home ownership fair, enrolling in a home buyer education class at a local non-profit organization or talking to your local trusted mortgage professional or REALTOR® According to Michelle Lerner author of Can’t Decide Whether to Rent or Buy a Home? Bring in the Pros, “When you take a class or consult a professional you not only educate yourself about what it takes to buy a home, you also get a stronger understanding of your own emotional and financial readiness to become a homeowner.”
Get Started By Attending a Home Buyer Seminar
A well-organized home buyer seminar may be the best place to start your journey. The home buyer seminar generally consists of a panel of specialists from each area of expertise providing education on the home buying process and resources to help you make your dream of home ownership a reality. The organizers of home buyer seminars typically include a REALTOR® or real estate broker, a mortgage professional and an attorney or title company representative. Additionally, a certified housing counselor may be included in the panel of specialists to help you determine if home ownership is the right choice for you. If you decide home ownership is a goal worth pursuing, you may be able to obtain a mortgage pre-qualification right on the spot. The mortgage pre-qualification consists of an assessment of your credit profile as well as a snapshop of your finances over the previous two years . The pre-qualification helps your mortgage professional determine how much home you qualify for and which type of loan program best fits your individual circumstance. Types of loan programs available include conventional mortgages, government insured FHA loans, VA loans for qualified veterans and USDA Rural Development loans as well as the Fannie Mae backed conventional 97 loan and various statefunded loan programs .If you currently are a participant of the Housing Choice Voucher program, you may qualify to purchase a home through the Homeownership Voucher Program.
What if I Do Not Qualify For a Home Loan?
If it`s determined you are not mortgage ready, an action plan may be provided that will outline the steps you need to take to qualify for a mortgage. This may involve saving for a down payment or for mortgage specific payment reserves, paying off some debt, or cleaning up your credit profile to improve your score. You may be referred to agencies that provide homeownership readiness counseling, IDA matched savings plans and local down payment assistance grants.
Be aware there may be additional down payment assistance resources available unknown by the group of panelists conducting the home buyer seminar you attend. According to Personal Finance Reporter Daniel Goldstein and author of The little-known way to buy a home with almost no cash down , there are more than 2,000 down payment assistance resources available across the county that are offered through a variety of organizations but these programs are not well known by home buyers and real estate industry professionals. The down payment and closing cost assistance can be significant he notes. “For example, on a $250,000 home with a 3% down payment of $7,500, the closing costs for the buyer could typically add up to another $13,000, once costs such as loan origination fees, broker’s commission, title, recording and transfer taxes were factored in. But a down payment program could lower the closing costs to just $200.”To search for down payment resources in your area visit down payment resource website and take your dream of home ownership from wish to reality.
To search for HUD approved counseling agencies in your state that provide home ownership readiness workshops visit http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm
NeighborWorks America has an informative website designed to educate first-time home buyers on the process of purchasing a home visit Keys To My Home to get started.