Here are various ways in which a counselor can help you fulfill your housing needs.
When You’re Looking to Buy a Home
Being a first-time homebuyer can be exciting and scary at the same time. While you may look forward to moving into your first home, the process that it takes to get there may seem incredibly intimidating and lengthy.
With a HUD-approved housing counselor, the first-time home buying experience becomes much simpler. Much of this is due to being well-informed on what buying your first home entails, which is done via in-person counseling or resources like classes and informational videos that can teach you:
- How to determine how much home you can afford and how much you’ll need to save for your down payment.
- The mortgage application process, including the types of mortgages and how to choose a lender.
- Tips to ensure there’s always room in your monthly budget for your mortgage payment.
- Everything to expect at closing.
While this service can help a first-time homebuyer, existing homeowners looking to move can solicit the aid of a counselor too.
How much of a difference can a government-approved housing counselor make? When it comes to making your dream come true of owning your first home, the difference is enormous.
According to the HUD, over 50 percent of those who consulted counselors were able to purchase their homes within 12 months. Without the help of a counselor, that period probably becomes much longer.
When You’re Looking to Rent
Although it may not be as complicated as buying a home, the rental process can still feel overwhelming. Consult a HUD-approved housing counselor, and they can help you find the perfect rental by:
- Determining which type of rental best fits your needs.
- Finding a rental in your location.
- Weighing your needs versus your desires.
- Seeing how long your lease should be.
In terms of your finances, a housing counselor can offer rental assistance by:
- Determining how much rent fits your budget while taking utilities and other monthly expenses into account.
- Seeing how much you’ll need to save for application fees, moving expenses, and other upfront costs.
- Matching your credit history with available, realistic options.
- Developing a monthly budget that works for you.
Lastly, a housing counselor can lead the way when it comes to your rent lease by:
- Informing you of your rights and responsibilities, as well as the landlord’s.
- Explaining the lease and other related documents.
- Telling you what to do if you feel you experienced discrimination during the rental process.
- Educating you on your security deposit.
- Helping you inspect your new rental before you move in.
Beyond offering such guidance, a HUD-approved housing counselor may also be able to help you get rental assistance via the Section 8 program. If approved, you could receive a Housing Choice Voucher to help you pay your rent.
Now that you see how a government-approved housing counselor can help you, whether you’re buying or renting, call (800) 569-4287 to find one in your area or click here.
You may be able to get a counselor’s help for free. If not, ask how they can work with you at a low cost to fit your budget.