Information on Homebuyer Education Courses

information homebuyer education courses

Whether you’re buying your first home or even on your second or third, the mortgage and homebuying processes can seem a bit complex and even intimidating. That’s why the pros at Altius Mortgage and our partners at Mortgage Ogden are here – to provide you with simple, quality mortgage and refinancing options for the home of your dreams, as well as expertise to help you move through the process without hassle.

In some cases, those who are looking to buy will want a bit more specific education on the entire mortgage and homebuying world. In these cases, we might recommend programs known as homebuyer education. Also called pre-purchase counseling, these are programs that help prepare you for the various responsibilities and areas you’ll need to know about while obtaining a mortgage and finding the perfect home. Let’s go over the kinds of people these programs are meant for, plus some of the benefits they offer and areas they cover.

Who Benefits?

In most cases, the majority of attendees to these kinds of courses or programs are those who are buying a home for the first time. These classes are generally available both in individual formats or in group settings, and many of them will be approved by HUD, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac – in fact, certain loan programs are beginning to emphasize or even require these educational courses be taken as part of the loan itself.

However, know that you can take these classes in any situation. Maybe you’ve bought a home before, but are thinking of entering a very different mortgage situation and want information on it. There are a number of reasons why even experienced homebuyers can benefit from a bit of a refresher.

Our upcoming sections will go over the areas covered by these courses:

Basics and Process

Some of the first items covered in homebuyer education programs will be the basics of the mortgage and home search process. You’ll learn about the important stages involved in obtaining a mortgage, from application to underwriting and more. You’ll also get information about closing, including the fees and documents you should prepare to have on hand.

Mortgages and Shopping Around

Another important area to be covered here will be the kinds of mortgage loans available to you based on your financial and additional factors. Things like your credit score are important considerations here that you’ll be told more about.

Budgeting Steps

A mortgage is one of the single largest purchases you’ll make in your life, and budgeting for it incorrectly can have significant consequences. These classes will generally go over some simple budgeting methods to keep you in line.

Ownership Details

And finally, homebuyer education courses will also go over things like maintaining your home, covering utilities, and generally caring for the house without exceeding your budget and income levels.

For more on homebuyer education classes, or to learn about any of our home loan services, speak to the pros at Altius Mortgage today.

Mortgages for Freelancers and Contract Workers

mortgages freelancers contract workers

When it comes to obtaining a mortgage, the process can be a bit different for people who earn their income through alternative sources. For those who work in contract jobs, freelance or other areas of what’s known as the “gig economy,” income can be less predictable – and this can make certain parts of the loan application and approval process a bit unique.

At Altius Mortgage and our partners at Mortgage Ogden, we can help provide a variety of home loan options that are flexible and fit even alternative income households. We can also offer tips and expertise for people in the freelance or contract world – what can you do to simplify things a bit and make yourself a good candidate for a mortgage? Here are some important areas.

Be Organized and Detailed

Part of the issue with people in this position is that it’s harder to provide future income information to lenders, who typically use this information to determine your creditworthiness and what kinds of amounts they can safely extend to you. For this reason, a big emphasis throughout this process will be providing them with significant past evidence that helps bridge this gap.

For starters, get paperwork together for at least your last two years of financial dealings. Prepare copies of your signed federal tax returns, plus profit and loss statements for these years. List debts and assets, plus two years of documented income from all sources. This may not completely remove the hurdles in terms of your future income, but being able to show a solid history here can go a long way.

Debt-to-Income Ratio

Abbreviated DTI, debt-to-income ratio is important in virtually all loan situations. It tells lenders a lot about the risk inherent in lending you money, and the lower this number is, the less risk you represent. For this reason, take all the steps you can toward paying your balances off and getting them as close as you can to zero ahead of a loan application.

Building Up a Down Payment

One other big way to tip the scales in your favor here by lowering risk for the lender: By building up a solid down payment amount. Having a sizable sum here will reduce your loan-to-value ratio, which is a number that represents the relationship between the mortgage amount and the property value you’re purchasing. When this ratio is low, the lender is at less risk because a higher percentage of the home is already owned, rather than still pending payment. So for this reason, do everything you can to build up a solid down payment well in advance.

For more on how to plan for a mortgage and homeownership as a freelancer or contractor, or to learn about any of our mortgage loans or refinancing programs, speak to the staff at Altius Mortgage today.