AMES, Iowa -- Signs of spring are popping up in many front yards, advertising homes for sale. Many Iowans are hoping to claim those for-sale signs because their American Dream is to buy their own home. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers an online course for those who may need some help achieving their dream.
“A Place of Your Own” provides consumers with the decision-making tools they need to determine whether now is a good time to buy a home. The five-lesson course helps people prepare for the home buying process, says Susan Taylor, a human sciences specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.
“We updated the online content during the fall of 2017. The course includes topics such as knowing whether you are ready to buy a home, managing money, obtaining a mortgage and shopping for a home. Registration for the course is $45, and you can take the course on your own computer on your own schedule. This educational investment can help you make better decisions as you prepare to purchase a home,” said Taylor, who specializes in family finance.
Who are buying homes now? Thirty-four percent of new housing market buyers are individuals ages 36 and younger. The second largest group is comprised of those ages 37-51, at 28 percent, according to a 2017 report on home buying trends from the National Association of Realtors.
“Buying a home is a huge financial commitment. The process is exciting, but can be challenging. There's a lot to learn, such as how to work with a realtor, lender and loan officer; determining how much home can you afford; and understanding mortgage pre-approval, financing and closing. ‘A Place of Your Own’ helps with all this and more,” Taylor said.
Many home loan programs require that applicants complete a homebuyer’s course to qualify for a loan. Those who complete “A Place of Your Own” and pass the final exam will receive a certificate they can present to their lender to meet this requirement, Taylor said.
Homebuyer education provides the tools to help potential homebuyers understand and negotiate the dynamics of a complicated and significant purchase, Taylor noted. For more information or to enroll in the course, go to “A Place of Your Own,” www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/homebuyer.