In a recent post, we shared a few reasons why taking a first-time homebuyer course is worthwhile. Not only can it prepare you for each stage of the homebuying process, but it can also teach you valuable money management skills such as building credit, budgeting, and saving.
In addition, many mortgage and housing assistance programs list completing a first-time homebuyer course in the eligibility criteria. If you’re looking for a first-time homebuyer course to attend, here are a few ways to find one near you:
Check State Agencies for Homebuyer Education
Various organizations and companies offer first-time homebuyer classes in-person and online to educate consumers before a home purchase. However, statewide mortgage programs may require that you take a specific course to be eligible, so you need to make sure the course you take has the right credentials.
If you’re considering a mortgage program for your first home loan, check your state housing authority or government housing development website first to review the guidelines on courses that will qualify.
For example, here are two helpful resources for residents of Virginia and Maryland:
Virginia Housing Development Authority:
The Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) is a non-profit that provides mortgages and free homebuyer training among other services. In order to apply for a VHDA loan, you must complete the VHDA’s Homeownership Education class. The VHDA has a robust course schedule with classes available throughout the day in locations across Virginia. You can find a course and time that works for you here.
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development:
To qualify for the Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP), you can take a course at an approved organization, nonprofit, or local government agency. Although, some jurisdictions including Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Harford County have additional course requirements. You can find these guidelines and centers to sign up for an approved first-time homebuyer course in Maryland here.
Search the HUD Database for Approved Counseling Agencies
If you don’t live in either of the states above, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a database of HUD-approved counseling agencies. Successful completion of a course at one of these agencies will make you eligible for many federal and state homeownership programs.
Using the HUD course database, you can quickly search by zip-code to find a course near you. Besides pre-purchase education, the HUD counseling database has other course topics relevant to homeownership that may interest you as well. You can find that database here.
Lastly, if you’re not sure which first-time homebuyer course is right for you, let us know. We can point you in the direction of a class that upon completion will make you eligible for the mortgage or housing assistance program that you’re interested in.
*Atlantic Coast Mortgage, LLC is not affiliated with or acting on behalf of or at the direction of FHA, VA, USDA, the Federal or State Government.