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Should You Take A First-Time Home Buyers Class?

Miranda Crace4-minute read

July 14, 2022

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If you’re a first-time home buyer, you probably have many questions about how the home buying process works. No matter how prepared you think you are, it’s hard to anticipate what the process is like until you’re in it. And that’s before you start factoring in the enormous amounts of money it’ll take to buy a home.

That’s why most people can benefit from a first-time home buyer class.

What Is A First-Time Home Buyer Education Course?

A first-time home buyer education course is a workshop that walks you through the process of how to buy a house. Some lenders recommend – and may even require – you to take a class.

Here’s what you can expect to learn about in a first-time home buyer class:

  • Whether you’re ready for homeownership
  • Budgeting and money management
  • Assessing your creditworthiness
  • Determining the type of home you can afford
  • Programs that can help buy your first home
  • Comparing different types of mortgages and lenders

This type of class is beneficial for anyone new to the home buying process, but it can also help if you’re a previous homeowner who has struggled financially.

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Why First-Time Home Buyers Should Take An Online Education Course

If you’re interested in learning more about homeownership but not at all interested in attending a class in person, no worries. There are plenty of online classes available that can help you learn the information you’ll need to know.

Many perks come with signing up for a first-time home buyer class. The information you learn will help you make better decisions throughout the home buying process. But these classes also open the door to certain first-time home buyer programs, like Freddie Mac Home Possible® and Fannie Mae HomeReady®. These types of programs will give you access to the following financial perks:

  • Lower down payments
  • Government programs
  • Flexible credit requirements
  • Closing cost assistance
  • The potential for lower mortgage rates
  • Grant opportunities

How To Find First-Time Home Buyer Courses

If you’re not sure how to get started, take a look at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) list of approved courses. Your lender or real estate agent may also be able to point you toward a first-time home buyer course.

Online And On Demand

One of the easiest ways to get started is by signing up for a first-time home buyer class online. You can print the materials at home and access the course when it works for you, and most online classes offer the same quality content that you’d receive if you attended in-person.

Available Locally

If you prefer to take the class in-person, you can most likely find one located close to your home. In fact, many lenders and agents are now offering these courses. If you’re already working with a real estate agent, REALTOR or lender, ask if they offer a first-time home buyer class.

One note to check on before signing up for any local course. If you’re trying to take a class in hopes of qualifying for a specific grant or loan program, you’ll need to make sure the course meets the requirements for that offering. You don’t want to pay for something only to find out you have to take something else.

Free Or Low Cost

Home buyer education classes range in price between free and up to $100 for the class and materials included. Some programs credit your class fee to your closing costs, if you go on to buy a home. If you choose to sign up for a free first-time home buyer class, just make sure you’re signing up for a HUD-approved course. Otherwise, you won’t get access to the same benefits.

What To Expect From Your Home Buyers Course

During the class, you’ll learn vital information that will help you on your journey as a homeowner. It’s an opportunity to learn what the home buying process is really like.

Here’s an overview of what you can expect to learn:

Budgeting For Home Ownership

You’ll learn financial management skills, like budgeting and how your credit rating affects the kind of mortgage rates you’ll receive.

Selecting A Home

You’ll also learn about the process of purchasing a home, including education about how to determine how much home you can afford. Use our mortgage affordability calculator to get a sense of your house budget.

Consider buying a starter home instead of a forever home to avoid becoming house poor.

Financing Your Home Purchase  

Finding the right lender – or even the right loan – isn’t as straightforward as it may seem.

The Right Mortgage

There are conventional mortgages versus government-backed loans – offered through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Veterans Administration (VA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). You’ll need to weigh conforming versus non-conforming loans, and fixed-rate loans versus adjustable-rate mortgages. There’s so much to learn, and how you choose can cost or save you thousands of dollars.

Rocket Mortgage® isn’t offering USDA loans at this time.

The Right Lender

A home buyers course will walk you through the process of comparing lenders, gathering your documentation and closing on your house. How important is it to shop around? Research done by Freddie Mac indicates that borrowers could save $1,500 on average over the life of the loan by getting one additional quote and about $3,000 on average for if they get five quotes.

With so many choices, it’s no surprise that many borrowers become overwhelmed. A home buyers course will walk you through the process of getting the mortgage you need to purchase your first home.

Managing A Home

You’ll also learn how to manage your home after the closing process is over. If you’ve never owned a home before, you may not know much about home maintenance – and you may be surprised at the cost of home repairs. By the end of the class, you’ll have a better understanding of the costs and responsibilities that come with homeownership.

The Bottom Line: Get Your Questions Answered Before You Buy

A first-time home buyers class is a great way to learn about what you’re getting into if you’re thinking about buying a house. Home buying classes are affordable and easy to find, and can provide you with a wealth of information that you’ll need as you begin the home buying process.

If you’re ready to get the home buying process started, we’re here to help. Apply for approval online today or give us a call at (833) 326-6018! 

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Miranda Crace

The Rocket Mortgage Learning Center is dedicated to bringing you articles on home buying, loan types, mortgage basics and refinancing. We also offer calculators to determine home affordability, home equity, monthly mortgage payments and the benefit of refinancing. No matter where you are in the home buying and financing process, Rocket Mortgage has the articles and resources you can rely on.