With the discouraging news about the housing market in the last few years, first-time home buyers may think they’ll never have a chance at that American dream, owning a home of their own. The state of Florida has some valuable programs put into place to help out new buyers, and people in Jacksonville can find programs to fit many types of buyer. Each program has different requirements in terms of who can actually use it, but they all have one thing in common: a requirement to take a first-time home buyers class that’s certified by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Programs That Use the Class
The largest program in the Jacksonville area is the Headstart to HOME Ownership program. It’s available for first-time buyers who make between 50 and 80 percent of the median income in the area. Borrowers can get a loan at a subsidized rate and also will be given additional monies for down payment and closing costs for their purchase. Another program that requires this class is the Workforce Housing Program. This offers low-interest loans to median income families in the Jacksonville area. The other main programs that require the class are Florida First for first-time buyers, Military Heroes for veterans and active-duty military personnel, and the Homeowners Assistance for Moderate Income Loan (HAMI).
The class itself takes one day and is scheduled for a full eight hours. Five different venues are available for the class, so they should be conveniently close for everyone in Jacksonville and Duval County. You will learn the basic financial details of buying a home including the down payment, qualifying ratios, credit history, and pre-approvals. The section on house hunting includes finding the right home for your family and making an offer to purchase, as well as scheduling and understanding a home inspection.
Find out about shopping and applying for a loan, loan processing, the details of preparing for a closing, as well as what the actual closing entails. Finally, the class will concentrate on the details of being a homeowner.
What Else You May Learn
If you’re a first-time home buyer, you may always have rented properties, and there are a surprising number of details you may not have considered such as your responsibilities as a neighbor and as a property owner, home maintenance, household budgeting, and even the benefits of home ownership vs. renting a similar home. The class is free, and you will receive a proof of certification when you have completed your studies.
After taking a class designed for first-time home buyers, you will have a lot more knowledge about the home buying process and be much better prepared to take the next step toward the American dream.