When Christine was in graduate school studying speech pathology, her father strongly encouraged her to start building wealth through homeownership. Yet she didn’t believe she was ready. “I didn’t know how to go about it,” she says.
However, rising rent payments gave her the motivation that she needed to learn. “I could see that rent was wasting my money away."
While she could have easily asked her parents for advice on buying a house, she decided she wanted to educate herself so she would be able to make informed decisions on her own. “This was the first huge purchase that was going to be mine, so I really wanted to get the knowledge to be able to weigh all the factors involved,” she says.
She knew financial education was the way to go, and she ended up at HomeFree-USA. She loved the fact that in addition to classes, HomeFree-USA offered one-on-one counseling. “I wanted someone that could actually take my financial situation into account, and tell me what professionals I needed to be hooked up with to pursue homeownership,” she says.
She learned about a down payment assistance program that she could benefit from, and she also ultimately was able to receive closing cost assistance, as well. “That made a huge difference in how much I had to come to the table with,” she says.
There were some stumbling blocks she encountered. For example, the first house she wanted fell through. But her counselor at HomeFree-USA helped her to take the lessons learned from that experience and apply them to another potential home. She also learned the value of patience, and how homeownership is a process that requires a strategic and far-sighted approach.
Eventually, she closed on the home of her dreams, and she’s quick to credit the education and guidance she received as being a key factor in her success. You can never be too educated to benefit from homeownership counseling, she says.
“At the end of the day, this is going to be your financial responsibility,” she says. “It's important to get the education, but it's important to have that advice from a counselor too.”