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The information presented on this page was originally released on September 13, 1999. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
Program Relieves Stress Of Buying A New Home
By Jamie Vickers,
Coordinator, Pine Belt Family and Youth Center
HATTIESBURG -- Most people do not know what is required to be a successful homeowner, but with help from local specialists, buying and maintaining a new home can be easy.
Dr. Frances Graham, housing specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said many loan and mortgage companies require individuals to receive homebuyer education training to secure a loan.
"The training prepares buyers for what is required in purchasing a home," Graham said. "It also prepares them to be a successful homeowner by providing information before and after purchasing a home."
Confusion and uncertainty make prospective homeowners timid in the home buying process, but this program gives step-by-step instructions that calm many fears. Bank and loan representatives provide information during the program, and they assist with the application process.
"The program makes homebuyers aware of the steps involved in getting a loan and the responsibilities and expenses after they buy a home," said James Clark, Community Development Manager with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "The way debt may affect the availability of loans is also an important part of this training."
Representatives furnish literature, applications and information on loans, and they counsel participants.
"The homebuyer program is an encouragement to people who want to become a home owner. It teaches the steps to becoming a homeowner, and it is a good way to get information about owning a home," Clark said.
Karen Mead of Collins was a participant in the program. July 23 was a momentous day in her life and in the lives of her family; they moved into their new home bought because of the training she received in the homebuyer program.
"It was a dream come true for us," Mead said. "We wanted to move out of our old house and become a homeowner, but I found out that my credit record was holding me back."
With information that Mead received from the Extension Service, she reapplied for the loans and she learned how to budget.
"I appreciated learning about budgeting because I realized how much I was spending, so I began to cut out a lot of my spending habits," Mead said.
At first, Mead was apprehensive about buying a home, especially because she is a single parent.
"I learned step-by-step what to do," Mead said. "I'm glad I did the program because it gave me information on things that I would never have known otherwise. I learned to be up front about what I wanted, and now my children and I live in a nice home."
For more information on upcoming programs, contact the local county Extension offices.