If you’re looking to buy a house, now’s the time to get educated first. Seriously, the home purchase world has changed and getting armed with straight-forward information before you enter the “look phase” will help keep you out of the “looky-loo phase” where little is accomplished.
SPEND A LITTLE TIME SAVE A BUNCH OF MONEY
We here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor can advise you how to get ready to buy, but frankly one of the very first things we’ll suggest is taking the eHomeAmerica.org online course to begin your home-buyer education.
This program, created by our parent organization, NeighborWorks of America and Venture, is a six- to eight-hour online course that you can complete at your own pace, for as long as it takes and from any internet connection.
Based on the NeighborWorks America’s “Realizing the American Dream” curriculum, eHome America is the only internet homebuyer education curriculum that meets the National Industry Standards. This is a very important distinction and one that means it is better than all the rest, not harder! It also means the course certificate has more value to HUD, USDA, and lenders that require it for some of their loan products.
The eHomeAmerica.org course includes animated videos, easy-to-read content, and module quizzes throughout to ensure your complete understanding of the home buying processes. It also includes a one-on-one advisory session with our HUD certified housing counselor, usually by phone.
The course, which is also available in Spanish, costs $45, but as we said, will more than likely easily pay for itself in money saved when you do buy a house.
WHY NOW’S THE TIME TO BUY
Generally the summer is a great time to buy a house, especially if you need to resettle your whole family and be ready for a new school year.
In addition, home prices are still relatively low, housing stock plentiful and interest rates remain very appealing — we’re still experiencing the lowest interest rates in years, which means you get more house for the money.
So, if you’re thinking that you might buy a home soon, it’s important to do your homework and become educated before you talk with your favorite lender and realtor.
It’s helpful for everyone involved in the process when the potential buyer is educated in the home-buying process. It makes the process shorter and the homeownership more successful.
WHO SHOULD SIGN UP?
Like we said, the world has changed from the days of buying a house on blind faith.
Too many homes have been foreclosed, too many families have been negatively affected not to create a new diligence for the home buyer. A comprehensive, high quality, third-party neutral education will join proper home inspections to create the “new normal” home buying experience.
So the course geared to give the best chance for being a successful homebuyer is for everyone and becoming more and more essential to folks needing a homebuyer education certificate to qualify for certain advantaged loan products.
IT’S CONVENIENT, UNBIASED
With crazy job schedules and so many other conflicts to work around, the go-at-your-own-pace format of this online instruction should suit everyone’s individual needs.
The comprehensive curriculum lays out what steps to take when preparing to buy a home, tells you what questions to ask and what pitfalls to avoid.
Another benefit of this program is that it offers an unbiased approach. Produced by a non-profit organization, the only “bias” it has is to make sure students become well educated potential home buyers. It has no other “dog in the hunt.”
Before, during and after the course, you can call or e-mail our HUD-certified housing counselors, Julie and Kelly, to answer any questions.
When you’ve completed the course, you will have the required one-on-one counseling, and then the counselor will release your Certificate of Completion to a lender of your choice when you are ready to make a home purchase up to two years after you complete the course.
So there you have it, “want to buy a house, get educated first” is our new mantra and we are here to help.
Dave Murnen and Pat Beaty are construction specialists at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor County, where Murnen is the executive director. This is a non-profit organization committed to creating safe and affordable housing opportunities for all residents of Grays Harbor County.