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First time homebuyer classes

C and I want to take a first time homebuyer class this fall.  I've been looking at the classes available, and there are some near us, and some a little farther away, but in the area where we will likely buy a house (when we buy, we will be moving about 30 mins by car away from where we live now - from city to south of the city burbs).

I see that the classes can "qualify" you for different perks - my question is, do we know how important it is to take the class in the area where you plan to buy?  Like, are those "perks" only going to apply to that county?

Anyone have experience with this and know?

Mrs._F
sahm ~ toddler breastfeeder ~ cloth diaperer ~ baby wearer

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Re: First time homebuyer classes

  • image cookiemonster03:
    I have never heard of this...

    The classes?  Or qualifying for downpayment assistance and the like?

    Mrs._F
    sahm ~ toddler breastfeeder ~ cloth diaperer ~ baby wearer

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  • We took one about a year ago specifically for condos (which we're selling, but not buying another one, but we're not taking another since we already know the basic and have a REA). Anyway, I would suggest taking one in the area that you plan to buy in and if possible doing some research on the type of class focus/instructor. They're usually REAs that work in the area they teach so you can get info specific to the area and maybe find a REA (or rec for one) based on your experience in the class.
    Met 07/07/05, Wedding 07/07/07, Legal Marriage Ceremony 12/9/12



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  • image Mrs._F:

    image cookiemonster03:
    I have never heard of this...

    The classes?  Or qualifying for downpayment assistance and the like?

    Classes. And downpayment assistance actually. I have no idea what this is.

  • image JoySeattle:
    They're usually REAs that work in the area they teach so you can get info specific to the area...

    Yes - that too!  I thought that might be the case. If we can get location-specific info...we want it!

    Mrs._F
    sahm ~ toddler breastfeeder ~ cloth diaperer ~ baby wearer

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  • image cookiemonster03:
    image Mrs._F:

    image cookiemonster03:
    I have never heard of this...

    The classes?  Or qualifying for downpayment assistance and the like?

    Classes. And downpayment assistance actually. I have no idea what this is.

    Yep, there are tons of classes available to first time home buyers, and through many of the ones that I have found, you can potentially qualify for down payment assistance, and sometimes they have lenders come in to talk and you can potentially get preapproved (credit pending, of course).

    Mrs._F
    sahm ~ toddler breastfeeder ~ cloth diaperer ~ baby wearer

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  • We considered the classes but decided against it after doing the research online - I'm sure they will provide lots of important information, but the bottom line is that they teach these classes to build their businesses and recruit clients so expect a little of that and dont feel pressured to go with them just b/c you took their class.  But, if you are already looking for an REA and broker, then it couldnt hurt as a way to meet a couple.

    as first time homebuyers, i would strongly recommend checking rates on an FHA mortgage. when we were buying last year they were the best, and offered the "downpayment assistance" you are referring to.  although, just be forwarned that no one is giving away money for free...if a company offers to help with your downpayment, they are charging you for it somewhere else, whether it be points, rate, or fees...

    I know you guys arent suckers and will do your research, but i wanted to throw that out there :) 

  • image ctbride08:

    We considered the classes but decided against it after doing the research online - I'm sure they will provide lots of important information, but the bottom line is that they teach these classes to build their businesses and recruit clients so expect a little of that and dont feel pressured to go with them just b/c you took their class.  But, if you are already looking for an REA and broker, then it couldnt hurt as a way to meet a couple.

    as first time homebuyers, i would strongly recommend checking rates on an FHA mortgage. when we were buying last year they were the best, and offered the "downpayment assistance" you are referring to.  although, just be forwarned that no one is giving away money for free...if a company offers to help with your downpayment, they are charging you for it somewhere else, whether it be points, rate, or fees...

    I know you guys arent suckers and will do your research, but i wanted to throw that out there :) 

    Thanks.  I find it unlikely we will even be elligible for any downpayment assistance, and know that there will definitely be a sales-y angle to the class, but felt like any local info we could get, or some information about what to expect in the home-buying process might be worth it.  As for feeling pressured - you haven't seen me with sales people...I'm a force to be reckoned with Wink LOL!

    I thought I had remembered you talking about taking a class - so I had you in mind when I posted this! Smile  I will gladly accept any and all tips that you have to share on the home buying process!

    Mrs._F
    sahm ~ toddler breastfeeder ~ cloth diaperer ~ baby wearer

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  • I've also been doing research on classes in the DC area. Here, there are several assistanace programs (downpayment, closing costs, mortgages) that are locally funded and specific to certain areas. In DC, some of these require that you take a homebuying class. One of our friends took a class in order to get a loan and they said the class itself was kind of useless as it focused mostly on that specific program and didn't really offer much general advice. She recommended taking a class run by a nonprofit not affiliated with a specific program instead.

    However, another friend in VA had to take a class to get a loan through a rural development program, and he liked it and found it generally helpful.  

    I've been nervous about taking a class through a realtor b/c of the concerns described by other folks (bias, limited point of view, heavy sales focued etc) but I've never done it, so I can't offer any constructive criticism.  

  • image berriesnpie:

    I've also been doing research on classes in the DC area. Here, there are several assistanace programs (downpayment, closing costs, mortgages) that are locally funded and specific to certain areas. In DC, some of these require that you take a homebuying class. One of our friends took a class in order to get a loan and they said the class itself was kind of useless as it focused mostly on that specific program and didn't really offer much general advice. She recommended taking a class run by a nonprofit not affiliated with a specific program instead.

    However, another friend in VA had to take a class to get a loan through a rural development program, and he liked it and found it generally helpful.  

    I've been nervous about taking a class through a realtor b/c of the concerns described by other folks (bias, limited point of view, heavy sales focued etc) but I've never done it, so I can't offer any constructive criticism.  

    Thanks.  I've found a couple through Boston housing foundations/groups - that outline what's covered - home inspections, home insurance, the closing process, etc, etc.  I guess I'll have to do some more thinking about it.

    Mrs._F
    sahm ~ toddler breastfeeder ~ cloth diaperer ~ baby wearer

    AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers
  • keep in mind that you can get a lot of these costs paid by the sellers, especially given the current market.  We didn't pay a dime in fees or closing costs.

    let me know if you have any other questions :) i love love love real estate and would be happy to help!

  • image ctbride08:

    let me know if you have any other questions :) i love love love real estate and would be happy to help!

    thanks - will do!

    Mrs._F
    sahm ~ toddler breastfeeder ~ cloth diaperer ~ baby wearer

    AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers
  • Mrs. F,

    I've never posted here before, but I like to read all the boards on the Nest,and the Knot and when I saw this post I had to reply.

    My fiance and I just bought our first house, and we went through a mortgage broker and we got a USDA loan that required NO money down. We just had to pay some of the closing costs and for the appraisal.

    Not all areas qualify for USDA, but a good mortgage broker can let you know for sure.

     We took a first time home buyers class online for free online, it was required from our lender.

     Good luck!

  • We didn't take a class, but used an agent and broker who were willing to hold our hands through the process and answer my daily, sometimes hourly, questions as first time home buyers. We also got an amazing rate with an FHA loan and didn't pay any closing costs. Also, I found the Home Buying for Dummies book to be a great source of additional info. Best of luck. It's such a fun process!

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  • image thefamilyway904:

    Also, I found the Home Buying for Dummies book to be a great source of additional info. Best of luck. It's such a fun process!

    and i have a copy of that laying around somewhere...if you want it, its yours.

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