So last night I finished a HUD approved pre-purchase counseling online class. This class is supposed to help first-time home buyers sort out their finances and realize if they are in fact ready to purchase a home. And it offers closing cost assistance upon completion and a passing grade.
When the loan officer (mah lending guy) told me that he could help cut down some of my closing costs with this assistance program, I jumped at the opportunity. Really, this class should be taken before you start your mortgage process – so I got a late start; but it was still crazy informative, albeit a little scary!
What is HUD, do you ask? The Housing of Urban Development Association…or something along those lines…which offers classes and various assistance (if you qualify!) programs. You can do one-on-one counseling sessions, coaching and just someone on the outside to ask questions to.
I qualified for this program because I am a first time buyer. I am sure there are different programs and classes offered by state or even by county, and I know where I live there is assistance offered per household income, single or newly single marital status and also assistance offered per type of accommodations in which you choose to purchase.
Do I sound like I learned something? I sure hope so! I did pass the class last night after all.
So this class was 11 chapters (with audio so you can read along while listening) with a 10 question quiz at the end of each section. It took about 6 hours to complete, but you are able to go in and out of the program as many times as you want and take up to 30 days to finish it…so really, there is no excuse to not only take it, but also to do well. They start out by covering how to get your finances in order, manage through any debt you may have through learning how to compare and apply for loans, choose the right place to live – and the pros and cons of each (new vs. already built…condo, townhouse, single family), ensure you have a good payment plan so you don’t fall behind on your payments all the way to maintenance of your new home and hiring a contractor for any work you may want to do if and when you plan to sell.
As part of the Generation Y world, I too have gotten a bad rep by living at home since college with my work peers. But if you other Generation Y-ers are feeling this, just remember…I saved enough money for a down payment (and also did not by any means deplete my bank account!) on a one bedroom condo that I can call all my own.
I have an accepted offer, gotten a home inspection and finalized a mortgage (and bought furniture, because I couldn’t help myself), and while this is all slightly scary – I now know that I can do this…and if I can, anyone can.