KIM COOPER: Finally home

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If you are one of those looking for a home, your local Realtors can help you with more than your home search. We know that your home will be the largest investment you have ever made so we want you to be prepared to make that investment wisely. That is why for the last several years we have offered a class specifically targeted to those seeking a home for the first time or to qualify for special loan programs. Either way the Idaho Housing “Finally Home” class is a well reviewed source of objective information to help you avoid pitfalls when seeking your American dream. This course was created by the Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA) who require it to qualify for some of their loan programs.

Did you know that you don’t need perfect credit to be able to qualify for a home loan? In fact, many of the people attending the Finally Home classes at the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors’ classroom have less than stellar credit. Still, many of them are able to get financed for a home loan, many with zero for a down payment. Most home seekers feel like a required 4 1/2-hour class is a small price to pay to qualify for a loan. Others though, are in it purely for the education. We often see people with excellent credit and large down payments in our classes because the information is so valuable.

Information at the IHFA website (ihfa.org) states; “Finally Home! can help you get a better rate, understand the different loan types, find the right property and lender, learn about credit, avoid costly mistakes, and may even help qualify you for down payment assistance.” Attendees will hear details about applying for a loan, shopping for insurance and how to go about the home buying process. All segments are taught by working professionals in their fields so when you attend you will hear from a loan originator, a licensed insurance agent and a Realtor. Each will provide an in-depth view of what to look for in their specific areas of expertise.

Some examples of course material are; choosing the right loan and the right lender, making sure your investment is protected with the right types of insurance, the secret to protecting your home from loss of income and how the entire home buying process works. Your Realtor will tell you how to choose a Realtor that fits you, what to expect from them in the way of service, how to find out a home’s true value and write an offer that gets accepted.

You will also learn what happens after your offer is accepted. What types of inspection should you do to ensure you know the condition of the home under the surface. How to hire a good inspector, what to look for in a neighborhood and which type of home may suit you best. There is so much information presented in a short period of time that some have likened it to trying to drink from a fire hydrant. All attendees get a class guidebook that they will refer to after the class is over to help their recall when needed. We haven’t talked to anyone who is sorry they invested the time to attend and there are no grades!

Our next Finally Home class is this Wednesday at the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors’ building at 409 W. Neider across the street from the Dollar Tree. Tuition is just $10 and that covers the class, the workbook and something to eat while you are learning. Class starts at 5:15 p.m. so if you are curious about the home buying process be sure to attend. It will help you avoid costly mistakes.

Trust an expert…call a Realtor. Call your Realtor or visit www.cdarealtors.com to search properties on the Multiple Listing Service or to find a Realtor member who will represent your best interests.

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Kim Cooper is a real estate broker and the spokesman for the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors. Kim and the association invite your feedback and input for this column. You may contact them by writing to the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors, 409 W. Neider, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815 or by calling 208-667-0664.

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