5 Key Benefits of Pre-Purchase Homeownership Coaching

A wooden blocks spelling the word 'counseling' on a clip board as a guide to pre-purchase homeownership counseling

We want homebuyers to have the best chance to succeed in achieving their goal of homeownership.

Pre-purchase counseling is a must do for anyone looking to become a homeowner and here are the top 5 key benefits.

Top 5 Benefits

  1. Access to a knowledgeable housing coach

Participating in a coaching session with a HUD-approved housing counseling organization provides you one-on-one attention from an expert who is speaking on a subject that is vitally important to you.

Think about all of the times you look up information on the Internet, of all the times the web offers you conflicting advice or contradictory information. Now imagine having a personal coach guide you to help cut through the clutter and show you exactly what you’re looking for on the first search. Someone to answer your questions and tailor that answer to your personal situation.

That’s what a pre-purchase coaching session is like. You get an expert who is on your side, without any agenda other than seeing you succeed. You’ll get information that is unbiased, accurate, and prepared just for you.

  1. Getting a professional financial readiness assessment

Buying a home is a big financial move. For most people, it’s the largest purchase one will ever make and very likely to be your biggest investment.

If you’ve never been a homeowner or even if it’s been a while since you were, how can you know if you are financially ready for such a big commitment? A housing coach can help with a financial readiness assessment. Together, you’ll review your income, expenses, and financial habits to determine where you stand and what you need to do to be fully ready to make the purchase.

This financial assessment isn’t about just looking good for a lender—this is about having a truly good foundation to start from as a homeowner. It does you no good to create a false appearance of financial readiness—that only gets you into a mortgage you can’t truly afford. By getting a genuine readiness assessment, you’ll know you’re ready to move forward and buy a home.

  1. Getting qualified for the best mortgage terms

There are a lot of choices when borrowing to buy a home. Which kind of mortgage to choose? FHA or conventional? Which lender is offering the best deal for you? Should you choose a fixed or adjustable rate mortgage?

Each homeowner will answer the many questions about mortgage borrowing differently. There’s no one set of right answers. That’s why personal coaching is so important. A coach will help you make the best decision for you, by helping you understand the differences and choices you face.

Too many people wait until after they’ve started shopping for a home to do the important pre-purchase work. By getting coaching to get qualified for a mortgage first, you’ll know precisely what you can afford and that should guide your homebuying decisions.

And when you start comparing mortgage offers, you’ll have access to expert advice to help you understand the different options and what they mean for you. Don’t fall back on generic advice when you can have someone understand your unique situation so you can make the best choice.

  1. Understanding your credit

Reviewing your credit report is one of the most important steps to take before applying for mortgages or other kinds of loans.

A credit report contains a lot of information about you, and it’s crucial that the document be accurate, up-to-date, and complete. An expert coach can review your credit with you, help you understand what’s in it and what it really says about you. You can also get advice on how to legally and legitimately improve your credit history.

Besides the report itself, your credit score is a critical aspect of your mortgage loan application. Your coach can explain how your score was calculated, what it indicates about your creditworthiness, and what you can do to improve your score over time.

  1. Getting access to down payment and closing cost assistance programs

Depending on where you live and from whom you’re borrowing, you could be eligible for down payment or closing cost assistance. These programs typically require the borrower to complete first-time homebuyer education or counseling to qualify.

Some borrowers learn about this kind of assistance when they attend their coaching session, while others are referred by their mortgage broker in order to qualify for special programs.

Whatever your situation, it’s worth looking into the availability of any assistance you can get. The health of our economy depends on people becoming homeowners and successfully making their mortgage payments; that’s why there are many programs to help that you might not even be aware of.

Pre-purchase coaching helps you learn things you need to know for your journey to homeownership. The lessons you’ll get will include things you didn’t know were important—things you don’t want to find out about too late in the process. You’ll also get one-on-one assistance you can’t get any other way.

The knowledge and assistance you get doesn’t stop at the loan closing, either. By taking in pre-purchase coaching, you’ll be set up to be a successful homeowner, not just a home buyer.

Article written by
Melinda Opperman
Melinda Opperman is an exceptional educator who lives and breathes the creation and implementation of innovative ways to motivate and educate community members and students about financial literacy. Melinda joined credit.org in 2003 and has over two decades of experience in the industry.

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