Online Extension Course Helps Home Buyers

Many first-time homebuyers are unsure of whether they are ready to buy a home and how much they can afford to borrow, said Suzanne Bartholomae, an ISU Extension and Outreach family finance state specialist. Homebuyer courses, taken before consumers jump into a home purchase, are thought to be a key ingredient to successful homeownership.
“Research has shown the importance of homebuyer counseling and education. A recent study found that homeowners were about one-third less likely to become seriously delinquent on their mortgage payments in the first two years of home ownership if they received pre-purchase housing counseling and education,” Bartholomae said.
ISU Extension and Outreach has been offering “A Place of Your Own” since 2007. In the past year alone, more than 300 consumers across the nation have taken the course, and more than two-thirds were from Iowa. ISU Extension and Outreach’s online homebuyer education course continues to serve the needs of first-time home buyers, consumers trying to qualify for a mortgage, or those simply contemplating the pros and cons of home ownership. The course includes topics such as money management, credit repair, shopping for a home and lending issues such as getting a mortgage and closing the loan. A Spanish-version of the online course will be available late fall.

June is designated National Homeownership Month to highlight the important role housing plays in our economy and in our communities. “A Place of Your Own” is available anytime, anywhere from any computer with Internet access, Bartholomae said. The cost for the course, including the certificate of completion, is $45.
For more information on the course and an online registration link see www.extension.iastate.edu/homebuyer.

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