First Time Homebuyers’ Certificate

What First Time Buyers Need to Know

For people starting the home buying process, one of the first things they start hearing about is obtaining the First Time Homebuyer’s Certificate. As a first time homebuyer, there are a lot of new housing terms that may not sound familiar. The First Time Homebuyer Certificate requirement trips people up because it is a new concept. Let’s dive into what the First Time Homebuyer Certificate is, what it is not and why it is important to have if you are a First Time Homebuyer.

What is the Certificate:
1. The First Time Homebuyer Certificate is obtained after completing a First Time Homebuyers Class with a HUD-Certified Housing Counseling Agency.
2. Usually refers to the full 8-hr class that covers all aspects of homebuying in general terms (debts, credit, house shopping, loan comparisons, appraisals, etc.)
3. States your name, date you took the class, the agency providing the class, date of certificate expiration, and is signed by a Housing Counselor and is usually valid for 1 year.

Why take the Class:
1. Usually required for homebuyers that are apply for Down Payment Assistance
2. May be required by certain lender for homebuyers that are obtaining certain loan products (Low to Moderate Income, First Time Buyers, FHA Loans, Lender provided Down Payment or Closing Cost Assistance)
3. Suggested by your real estate agent as a way for you to learn more about the homebuying process for yourself
4. You are a first time buyer and want to know more about how to achieve sustainable homeownership

Forms of the Class*:
1. In person (group education setting)
2. Online (at home at your own pace)
3. Online + Individualized Counseling (at home plus either an in person or over the phone Counseling session)                                                                                                                                                                                *All of these depend on the agency where you complete the class and the entity that is requiring you to take the class.

What it is Not:
1. Taking the class and receiving the certificate is not an approval for receiving Down Payment Assistance (DPA). Homebuyers need to apply with each DPA program individually in order to determine eligibility.
2. Taking the class and receiving the certificate is not an approval or application for a mortgage loan. Homebuyers will need to prepare their finances and documents and apply with mortgage lenders individually to determine mortgage readiness.

Taking a HUD Certified First Time Homebuyer Class is a great first step for any prospective homebuyer that wants to be better informed about the overall process for buying a house and preparing for affordable and sustainable homeownership. Obtaining the First Time Homebuyer Certificate is a great first step in the process.

If you have questions and have not yet taken a HUD Certified First-Time Home-buyer Class, call us at 713-864-9099. Or sign up here.

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