As a realtor, I receive considerable information on helping people become homeowners. What has surprised me is how often I hear that many of these programs are underutilized or people find out about them too late.
According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, access to housing and homeownership counseling can make a big difference in successful home ownership. Many experienced realtors are sensitive to the lack of knowledge with many first-time homebuyers and take time to educate them while preparing timelines within sales transactions, but this still does not alleviate many anxieties and worries first-timers may have and this is where knowledge from a homebuyer and financial class or counseling can help.
A major obstacle is that most potential first-time buyers are not aware that they qualify to buy a home or for the loan programs and assistance programs available to them. Having the knowledge about the home-buying process and financing can make the difference in becoming a homeowner or remaining a renter.
Locally, in Bend, Neighbor Impact holds homeownership classes and provides information on the various programs available. They also provide financial and homebuyer coaching. For more information, their website line is NeighborImpact.org.