‘A Place of Your Own’ Homebuyer Education Prepares Consumers

July 5, 2017, 7:54 am | Carol Ehlers, Laura Sternweis

AMES, Iowa -- Millennials are now the largest cohort taking steps to buy their first home, according to the 2017 National Association of REALTORS Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends. Also known as Generation Y, these potential home buyers are approximately 36 years old and younger. But before checking if the furniture fits, anyone looking to buy that first home needs to know if the budget fits, says Carol Ehlers, a human sciences specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.  

House KeyholeIowa’s first-time homebuyers of any age would benefit from “A Place of Your Own,” from ISU Extension and Outreach. The five-lesson online course provides consumers with decision making tools on whether now is a good time to buy a home. According to Ehlers, who specializes in family finance, “The $45 online course includes homebuyer topics such as knowing if you’re ready to buy a home, managing money, obtaining a mortgage and shopping for a home.”

A lack of savings for a down payment, credit problems or uncertainty about the home-buying process can make it seem impossible to move from renter to homeowner. Buying a home is a big commitment involving many factors, including potential risks and rewards.

Potential homeowners can become informed consumers by taking ISU Extension and Outreach’s homebuyer education course. “With the right tools at your disposal, you can continue down this path to achieve the stability, financial security and joy that comes with owning your first home. The key is taking a homebuyer education course, a move that has huge financial and practical benefits,” Ehlers said.

Research demonstrates that homeownership education – for those considering a home purchase as well as those who already are homeowners – can provide timely, powerful support as people assess their options and make decisions. According to a 2015 Housing and Urban Development study, pre-purchase home buying education helps borrowers avoid defaults and improves their financial attentiveness and decision-making, helping them reduce their debt and increase their savings.

"Buying a home is most likely the biggest consumer purchase you ever make and a long-term commitment," Ehlers said. "When new homebuyers complete pre-purchase homebuyer education, they can be better prepared for what to expect during the purchase transaction, as well as the ongoing responsibilities of homeownership."

For more information or to enroll in the course, go to “A Place of Your Own” at www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/homebuyer. Homebuyer education provides the tools by which any potential homebuyer can understand and negotiate the dynamics of a complicated and significant purchase, Ehlers noted.

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