Renewed interest in housing counseling is revealing that many are considering homeownership as a possibility for the first time. More than 73,000 people received housing counseling from National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC) member agencies during 2014, making it the highest volume experienced in the past five years.
“Seeing that more people are realizing the value of housing counseling is a sign that the next wave of homebuyers will be better prepared to preserve homeownership,” says Bruce McClary, spokesperson for the NFCC.
Owning a home is a serious financial decision, requiring a stable budget and a clear understanding of the responsibility involved. That responsibility begins when searching for an affordable home, and lasts as long as homeownership is maintained. While a recent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) survey revealed that 47 percent of homebuyers are not comparing lenders, those who participate in housing counseling sessions or workshops are more likely to review multiple mortgage offers.
Because they compare offers, they are likely to save more than those who only worked with a single lender. The NFCC recommends that prospective homeowners seek the advice of a nonprofit housing counselor in order to learn about every aspect of purchasing and maintaining ownership before making any financial commitment.