I'm currently lining up locations and qualified speakers for my 2016 schedule for Free First Time Homebuyer classes. If you think you will be a first time buyer, a buyer who hasn't owned a house in the last 3 years, or a buyer planning on buying in a Federal Targeted Area, there are several benefits to you taking one of these classes during 2016. Once completed, you'll be issued a certificate that is good for 2 years that will make you eligible for numerous benefits including Grants and Special loan programs. But the main reason to take this class is the education that you'll receive. All participants receive a 175+ page up to date " Homebuyer Handbook".
The qualified speakers I am lining up will cover the following topics:
(1) Personal Finance - This section is usually taught by a CPA, Financial Planner, or Loan Officer. You'll learn about: Rental Options, Spending Plans, Saving Tips, Debt to Income Ratios, Impacts on Credit, Reducing Debt, Benefits of talking to a Housing Counselor, Local resources, Foreclosure Prevention, etc.
(2) Credit Reporting - Best way to obtain copy of your credit reports, Understanding credit reports, Dispute process, Unwanted solicitation, FICO and Vantage, Credit scoring, Six ways to improve your credit score, Secured and unsecured credit, Identifying scams and fraud, etc.
(3) Working with a Lender- Finding a lender, Reccomendations from real estate agents, Pre-approval vs Pre-qualification, Who's involved in your loan approval process, Points, PITI, Escrows, Types of mortgages, When to close, Energy efficient mortgages, etc.
(4) Role of the Real estate Agent - Advantages of using an agent, Choosing an agent, Different types of representation, Buyer Broker Agreeemnts, MLS, Contracts and contingencies, Offers to ratified contract, Walk-thru, etc.
(5) Loan Closing - Homeowners insurance, Title insurance, Settlement agents, Deeds, How divorce impacts mortgages and property, Deed of Trust Note vs Mortgage, Closing disclosure, Funds needed, Financial hardships, Housing counselors, Scams, Liens, etc.
(6) Home Inspection
Today I'll cover the Home Inspection. This part of class is taught by a qualified home inspector. There are approximately 10 pages in the Homebuyer Handbook on what you will learn about home inspections and home inspectors. You're agent will most likely suggest a home inspector, but you can still choose your own. You'll learn why it's best to always get a home inspection. The inspector will evaluate the physical condition of the property, identify needed repairs, and estimate the remaing life of things like the HVAC system, shingles on roof, etc. You'll learn approximate costs of the inspection, how long they take, items covered in inspection, whether additional inspections should be done such as well, septic, radon, structual, hazardous materials, etc.
We'll also cover: why you should attend the home inspection, payment for the inspection, differences in inspections and appraisals, what to do if repairs are needed, getting to know your house, understanding circuit breakers and box, gas and water shut off valves, thermostats, maintenance, energy efficient tips, etc.
In addition to any home inspectors suggested by your agent, you can and should perform your own research. One of the main databases for home inspectors that you should get familiar with is:
At the above link you can search, find, compare, review credentials, contact inspectors with questions, and even schedule inspections in many cases. Then there are three other organizations we suggest you become familiar with. They are :
American Society of Home Inspectors ( ASHI)
National Association of Home Inspectors ( NAHI)
International Association of Home Inspectors (InterNACHI)
We will cover more in the classes, but these will all help you learn more about the home inspection.
Beware of great deals on Fixer - Uppers!
Jeff Pearl | Lic in VA
Homes | Land | Farms | Historic