Gulf Shores home buying just got a little easier, thanks to home buyer education classes. For those receiving down payment assistance, a home buyer education course may be a requirement. Mortgage lenders may also require the course. The classes can be very informative for anyone thinking of buying a home.
Take a Gulf Shores Home Buying Course
While some home buyer education classes charge a fee, some are free. They are often available online. A certificate from a HUD-approved agency is needed for lenders requiring classes for borrowers.
The course provides beneficial information about the home buying and mortgage process. Subjects include personal budgeting, credit scores, finding the best mortgages, homeowners insurance, home inspections and how to select and work with a real estate agent.
A recent survey of 1,000 people revealed nearly 75% of consumers think the home buying process is complicated. Recent mortgage disclosure requirements have made it even more confusing.
Experts suggest buyers enroll in the class as soon as they decide to enter the Gulf Shores home buying market. Do that, they say, before you select a home or a lender. The class will teach you how to shop for both.
The course can be very important to prospects with credit problems or with little or no credit. Anticipating the questions a lender may ask will empower you and better prepare you.
A first-time home buyers course will help with the following topics:
How does a credit score work? Lenders use credit scores to determine if you qualify for a loan and, if so, what the terms will be. You should know your credit score before taking the class.
Why is a home inspection needed? While most lenders don’t require a home inspection, it’s a good idea to have one to be safe. It will let you know about any needed repairs the home may have. Knowing that up front gives the buyer information that can be used in negotiating the sales price.
How to choose and work with a real estate agent? Since real estate commissions are normally paid by the seller, there is no cost for a home buyer to select and work with a real estate professional. Establish a relationship with the agent you choose and make sure he or she understands what you’re looking for in a home.
How can I save water and electricity in my new home? Because your monthly mortgage payment is just a portion of the cost of home ownership, it’s important to know how to budget for the other costs. Water, heating and cooling, trash collection and other fees will increase monthly expenses. A home owner class can provide money-saving tips.
What costs can I expect when I get ready to close the loan? In addition to the down payment you’ll have to make, you’ll also have to pay closing costs. Items like title insurance, appraisal fees, real estate taxes, homeowners insurance and other costs are your responsibility at the loan closing — unless you’ve negotiated with the home seller to pay some or all of them.
How do I shop for the best mortgage? Mortgage lending programs vary among lenders. Interview several lenders to find out what they offer and what best fits your needs. Then you can provide your financial information for them to perform the underwriting to make sure you qualify.
How do I obtain ownership with another person? Real estate titling varies by state. How the title is set up will determine, for example, whether the co-owner’s interest will transfer to you upon their death, or be left to surviving relatives.
Where can I find assistance with a down payment? There are programs available in some cities that offer grants or loans for down payments for first-time buyers. The class may assist in helping you find those programs as you enter the Gulf Shores home buying arena.
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