TWIN FALLS, Idaho – If you plan to be a new homebuyer this year, there are some tools that can help you feel more comfortable about making such a big purchase.

Presented by the Idaho Housing and Finance Association, the schedule for the home-buying education event called Finally Home! Is now available – and it includes opportunities for Magic Valley’s first-time homebuyers.

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“Finally Home! attendees are walked through the home-buying process step-by-step and gain useful information about purchasing,” Heather Bowman, Idaho Housing homebuyer education and counseling administrator, said in a prepared statement. “Practical, first-hand discussions with housing experts are key factors in learning to navigate the market well, weigh all the available options, and make a decision that is right for them.”

Sessions of the presentation are offered monthly in seven locations throughout the state, including Twin Falls. According to information from the association, Finally Home! started 17 years ago, and since then “more than 50,000 Idahoans have graduated with the knowledge needed to make smart decisions about buying and maintaining a new home and helping to make their homeownership experience more successful.”

Among other things, the presentation helps answer the following questions:

  • Can I qualify for a home loan and what credit score do I need to buy a home?
  • What are the common pitfalls encountered when buying a home and how can I avoid them?
  • How much cash do I need for a down payment and to cover closing costs?
  • With my current income, how much of a mortgage payment can I realistically afford?
  • How can I negotiate the best deal for a home in today’s competitive marketplace?

Buying a home is one, if not, the largest financial commitment made in a lifetime so understanding the ins and outs of homeownership is key. Online research only gets one so far, and then all the personal considerations and questions surface. Finally Home! Homebuyer Education offers a clear understanding of the home-buying process, enabling attendees to enter the market confidently and exit empowered to purchase the home of their dreams.

The class is best taken in the early stages of the home-buying process, according to the association, but those re-entering the housing market can also benefit from attending

Afterwards, attendees can get answers to additional questions from Idaho Housing’s network of housing counselors who are ready to help with pre-purchase information. Graduates may qualify for financial incentives including down payment and closing cost assistance, higher debt-ratio programs, lower mortgage insurance premiums, and “gifted funds” at closing.

Cost to register is $10-20 per attendee is required. The class also may be taken online, in English or Spanish, for a $50 registration fee.

Source: Idaho Housing and Finance Association