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5 important things you'll learn at a homebuyer education course

Taking a homebuyers education course can help you prepare to buy and own a home.
4/14/2017 2:52:42 PM

A survey from NeighborWorks America found that about two-thirds of respondents said the homebuying process is complicated.

These people aren't wrong; buying a house can be an incredibly complex transaction. Between finding the right home, securing a mortgage, reviewing the inspection report, determining closing costs and more, first-time homebuyers often find very quickly that buying a home is one of the biggest and most complicated transactions they'll ever make.

Despite these facts, only a small amount of homebuyers take a homebuyer education course. Those who do are often there to fulfill a requirement from their lender or a down payment assistance program.

Whether you're new to the home-purchase process or you've bought a few homes already, there's a good chance you would benefit from taking a few hours to learn from an expert. In these homebuyer education courses, you'll learn:

1. How to get a good loan.

One of the most important aspects of buying a home is finding the right residential mortgage for you. No two homebuyers have identical financial situations, which means that the perfect home loan for your friend or relative might not be your best bet.

There are many mortgage products out there. Some have terms of 10, 15 or 30 years. Some have a rate that stays the same throughout the entire life of the loan; others have rates that change annually.

In addition to learning about how to shop for a good mortgage, you'll also learn about what questions to ask your lender and what documentation you'll need to secure a loan.

2. What you'll be expected to pay at the time of sale.

Most people have heard about the down payment. This is a portion of the total home cost that you'll pay right away. Typically, a 20% down payment is ideal, but this isn't always feasible or necessary - many people pay less.

Aside from the down payment, you might be surprised to find there are even more costs you'll be accountable for. Homeowners insurance, title insurance, appraisal fees and real estate taxes are some common examples of these costs.

3. How to maintain a home.

Homeownership can be hard sometimes. When the furnace goes out, the roof starts leaking or the toilet breaks, there's no landlord to call for help. You have to address the issue yourself or contact a professional for assistance.

In addition to unexpected fixes you may need to tackle, you'll also need to do preventative maintenance. This means inspecting your roof to prevent leaks, cleaning the gutters and knowing when to replace certain features, like windows or appliances.

4. How to live efficiently.

In addition to your monthly mortgage payment, you'll also need to pay for water, heating and other utilities. If you're not careful, these expenses can add up. Some homeownership education courses dive into how to conserve energy and water so you can keep these monthly bills at a minimum.

5. What you need to know about home inspections.

The home inspection is an important part of the homebuying process. By having a professional look around the property, the buyer can move forward with the purchase, confident that the home is a good investment. Or, if something terrible turns up during the inspection, the buyer can usually back out, saving him or her lots of money on repairs or trying to generate returns on a run-down home.

Despite the inspection being highly recommended, there are many misconceptions surrounding the process. For example, many people don't know that it's OK - and even advisable - for the buyer to attend the inspection, CNBC reported. Also, it's common for a buyer to glance over the inspection report, seek out a few key words and call it a day. Many homebuyer education courses discuss what will be included in the inspection report, and how to read it.

Other times, in the interest of appealing to the seller or moving the transaction along quickly, some buyers skip the inspection altogether. CNBC reported about 10% of homes are purchased without an inspection.

Buying a home can be an exciting purchase, and homeownership can be incredibly rewarding. However, it's not always a walk in the park. Homebuying and homeownership are both complex and, at times, challenging.

Why go into the process uninformed? By taking a homebuyer education course, you can get all your toughest questions answered, and you'll go into the purchase ready for any obstacles that come your way.

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2015 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.