Home Buying 101

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Educating Yourself on Home Buying in Depot Town and Beyond

By Anthony Zick

Buying a home, can be tricky to navigate. Here are a few local organizations that offer good loan packages and educational seminars for prospective homebuyers.

Home Ready product through Fannie Mae.

Offered by many mortgage lenders, this conventional loan is for homebuyers who make 80% or less than the Area’s Median Income (AMI). For most of Washtenaw County, 80% AMI is $80,960.00. Requiring as low as a 3% downpayment, this program features significantly reduced mortgage insurance (PMI). Interest rates are reduced by .125-.25% compared to other programs. Income limits only apply to the listed borrower, not total household income. Homebuyers must take a homebuyer education course to qualify for this loan.

MSU Extension

On Zeeb Rd. in Ann Arbor, the Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) provides a first-time homebuyer course once a month teaching the basics of buying a home. MSUE is certified by both the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) and the US Housing and Urban Development Agency (HUD). Each class is six hours. Upcoming dates: 6-9pm; Nov. 12th -19th, 6-9pm. Call MSUE at (734) 222-9595. In-person courses are free. Online courses require a fee.

Level One Bank

Bill Smith of Level One Bank provides a seminar for first-time and renewed homebuyers. His seminars include talks on downpayment assistance, negotiating prices on a home, and properly handling funds such as gift-funds and withdrawals from 401k accounts. Seminar dates are TBD. Contact Bill Smith at besmith@levelonebank.com or 734-846-7277 for details.

Hinton Real Estate

The Hinton Real Estate Group holds Renter’s Workshops every third Saturday from 1-2pm for people who currently rent but who want a better understanding of what it takes to be a homeowner. Attendees learn how to set money aside for downpayments, appraisals, inspections, and other costs associated with homebuying to understand individual options and types of loans they may qualify for. Call 734-480-8650 to register, or visit teamhinton.com/wasting-money-rentersworkshop

Framework Online Course

This $75 online course for first-time and repeat homebuyers is per HUD guidelines and fulfills the homebuyer education requirement for the “Home Ready” loan, as well as other programs. Course topics include personal credit, mortgage loans, real estate agents, the closing process, and more. For more information, visit frameworkhomeownership.org/get-started/homebuyer-education

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