RISMEDIA, November 8, 2010—Especially in today’s housing market, the prospect of buying a home can seem overwhelming for many Americans who may not be aware of how to begin the process of shopping for a home or even a mortgage. To help consumers navigate this process, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) unveiled three how-to videos to help prospective homeowners find a home they can afford, shop for a mortgage they can sustain, and what to expect when they go to closing.
HUD produced the three consumer education videos in coordination with NAR and released them at the Realtors annual convention in New Orleans. Each video focuses on a critical part of the homebuying process including shopping for your home, shopping for your loan, and closing the deal.
David H. Stevens, HUD’s assistant secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner said, “The process for buying a home can appear complicated and overwhelming for many consumers. These videos will help answer the fundamental questions most people have—from shopping for their home to signing on the dotted line.”
“Educating consumers about the home buying process is at the heart of what Realtors do,” said 2010 National Association of Realtors President Vicki Cox Golder. “Informed home buyers create the conditions necessary for responsible, sustainable home ownership, and we’re very happy to be a part of this project.”
HUD’s videos are easily accessible from both HUD and NAR’s websites as well as from HUD’s YouTube channel. They include:
Shopping for your Home – The home-buying process obviously starts with finding a place you’ll want to call home. This short video will instruct viewers on assessing how much of a home you can afford, working with a real estate agent and what happens once you find the home you want to buy. Housing counselors can assist home buyers and home owners on issues such as home buying, fair housing, credit issues, and foreclosure prevention.
Shopping for your Loan – Once you’ve found the home of your dreams, the next step is to shop for a mortgage loan. This video will help consumers use the good faith estimate (GFE), which is a form that spells out the terms of a loan offer, to shop for the best loan for them. Consumers will learn how to use the GFE to determine how long an interest rate is available for a particular loan and how to identify key loan terms and costs of a particular loan offer. HUD suggests consumers shop and compare GFEs from multiple mortgage brokers and/or lenders in order to get the best loan for their situation.
Closing the Deal – Finally, this video walks consumers through the actual closing process including how to make sure the loan they were offered closely matches what they encounter at the settlement table. In particular, HUD will walk the viewer through the HUD-1 Settlement Statement and demonstrate ways consumers can compare their actual costs with those reflected on their good faith estimate.
Stevens added, “These videos go a long way in identifying key aspects of the homebuying process that a consumer should be aware of. Our goal is to help make the process more transparent through educating consumers who in turn can make informed choices about their home purchase. We partnered with NAR because a real estate agent is often the primary point of contact for home buyers, and we believe real estate agents are in a great position to provide these videos to their clients as they move through key areas in the homebuying process.”
For more information, visit www.hud.gov.