Housing Counseling is Helpful in All Stages of Homeownership

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The process of homeownership is a complicated one. Searching for a home, choosing a home, deciding to buy it, and maintaining it can be very difficult. Many individuals strive to understand the choices. Purchasing a home without any experience is scary. Many studies have demonstrated that housing counseling and education for homeowners and potential home buyers are important. People get more time to assess their options before they make one of the biggest decisions of their lives.

It’s essential to note that many individuals benefit from housing counseling education when it is appropriate for their needs. Housing counseling should be accessible and offered during the early stages of home buying process. People perform inaccurate costs by focusing on monthly housing expenses without considering fees or points. Clients also get confused by the terms of the mortgage. The terms include the difference between annual percentage rates and contract interest rates.

People usually miscalculate their capability and stick to financial gain only. These challenges affect moderate and low-income households. Most moderate and low-income households underestimate their household debt to as low as $5,000 or less. Consumers who take mortgage debts may make the mistake of miscalculating in a way that the mortgage becomes larger than their monthly income.

A homeowner can start to have some unexpected costs once they purchase a home. Close to fifty percent of first time homeowners usually experience unexpected home repairs and maintenance. They are usually faced with a difficult situation as they struggle to pay their debt back. This inconveniences most of them because it is something that they did not expect. Housing counseling gives potential home buyers a chance to educate themselves and make sure that they are set for homeownership.

Engaging with experts for guidance can help with avoiding foreclosure. Many people have become victims of rescue schemes that promise them modifications of their current mortgage. These are criminals who trick homeowners concerning the mortgage payments. The scams have defrauded many homeowners but yet it still happens every day.

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However, these challenges can be addressed beforehand with thorough education. Housing Counseling agencies are almost always members of an association that is approved by relevant authorities such as HUD (Housing & Urban Development). They provide unbiased advice usually free of charge. People, who desire to own a home can visit their offices, give them a call, learn from them, and make informed decisions. The education at each stage helps to distinguish the types of finance options available and update them on ways of making payments.

Education can be subdivided into prepurchase guidance and post-purchase education. Prepurchase education covers topics such as selecting a home, avoiding scams, money management, inappropriate loans, and financing. They help the participants to make a budget for the home in order to prevent and resolve mortgage delinquency. Post-purchase education tackles areas such as staying alert on current loans, preparing a household budget and retaining homes. Post-purchase education also covers reverse mortgage, post-purchase budgeting, and home repair. The number of people who participate in housing counseling has doubled over the past 20 years. Many people have discovered its importance in all of the stages of purchasing a home. This is a good sign of progress and that these services are worthwhile.

Buying A Home –

Buying a home in today’s housing market can be a real challenge and a scary thing to go through if you don’t have previous home buying experience. Housing counseling is helpful for anyone who wants to avoid the possible pitfalls awaiting those who want to purchase a new home.

There are a lot of things to ask yourself before deciding to buy a new home. How much can you afford? How do you know if your credit score is good enough to get a mortgage? What expenses will you incur that you don’t currently have? These are all questions that a knowledgeable pre-purchase housing counselor can answer for you.

If you are inexperienced or are buying your first home, finding the right answer to these questions is vastly important. After all, you don’t want to close on a house that you really can’t afford. You might be too close to your own financial reality to be able to see what you really can and can’t afford. That is a perfect job for an impartial third party. For instance, if you know you have bad credit, you might rule out buying a house or getting a mortgage completely. This is not always correct. An objective third party view provided by a good housing counselor can be invaluable because you might be able to get a housing loan even if you don’t think you can.

Let’s say that you are a resident of Pennsylvania, it is always wise to get housing counseling in the same area that you are looking to live in because they will be able to tell you where to go to get the best mortgage rates and help you find the right financial fit for you.

Avoiding Foreclosure –

Occasionally, things outside of your control can drastically affect your ability to pay your mortgage. Whether it’s a sudden job loss or major illness, the effects are the same. A good housing counselor can find ways for you to shuffle funds around in order to be able to afford your house.

Your home is your most valuable possession. Protecting yourself against home foreclosure is vitally important, especially in today’s uncertain times. A good housing counselor can really help you understand refinancing options, budget building, and learning how to interact with your mortgage lender.

Pennsylvania, in particular, has a lot of programs designed to aid homeowners who are in trouble. A housing counselor in Pennsylvania will know exactly what state agencies to contact to help you refinance your loans, and what programs state can help you. If you’ve been contacted by the state via an Act 91 form informing you of the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, it is important that you contact a Housing Counselor right away so that you can set up a foreclosure prevention session. Applying quickly can help temporarily halt the foreclosure process and give homeowners some breathing room.

Housing Counseling Can Help –

Whether you are considering buying a house, are already in the market for a home and want to make an offer, or you need help holding on to your home, Advantage CCS Housing Counselors can help you make informed, logical decisions and we can make your home owning experience a non-stressful and happy one. Visit us online at www.advantageccs.org or give us a call toll-free at 1-866-699-2227.

Author: Lauralynn Mangis
Lauralynn is the Online Marketing Specialist for Advantage CCS. She is married and has two young daughters. She enjoys writing, reading, hiking, cooking, video games, sewing, and gardening. Lauralynn has a degree in Multimedia Technologies from Pittsburgh Technical College.

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