Educating First-Time Home Buyers Bodes Well for Property Market


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, September, 13, 2013 – Local efforts initiated recently by civic groups to educate prospective first-time homeowners could help further reinvigorate the real estate industry and prevent a repeat of the housing market crash in 2008, Sarasota Bay Real Estate reports. One of these initiatives, the full service realty firm notes, is the First Time Homebuyer Class which the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. has offered in the past.

Significantly, Spanish was adopted as one of the media for the sessions to specifically assist an increasing number of Latinos wanting to engage the home market but have communication difficulties since English isn’t their first language. A crack at homeownership can be a challenge already even to native English speakers, and hence, the value of this project of the Catholic Charities cannot be overemphasized. Getting educated on homeownership is the first step before anyone tries to buy a home or apply for a mortgage loan, said Lucy Sanchez Cruz, housing counselor in the class.

Enlightening sessions on residential purchases

first time buyer

The participants are walked through four topics. One area covers the Steps to Successful Homeownership wherein the funds available to first-time home buyers are identified and participants are also briefed on fair housing rights. The class is likewise given pointers of Winning Credit History/Shopping for a Loan. Information on the required items to draw up a loan contract and budget, as well as on the loan application process, is discussed under this topic.

The class also tackles Shopping for a Home/Choosing a Realtor, giving insights on what to consider when looking for a home and engaging a realtor. Understanding a sales contract, negotiation and home inspection are also discussed here. The final topic is Home Ownership which expounds on what it means to be a homeowner, how to care for and maintain the home, security issues, and avoiding foreclosure. Notably, participation in this project opens eligibility to participants for assistance from Manatee and Sarasota bond and/or grant programs for down payment and closing costs.

Catholic Charities is but one of the private agencies accredited by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to conduct counseling on homeownership. In Southwest Florida, the Manatee Community Action Agency (MCAA) is also an HUD-approved body which holds regular counseling for prospective homeowners. Like Catholic Charities, MCAA also conducts rental housing counseling. For more information and to discover when future sessions will be held, please contact these organizations.

Where the starter homes are

First-time home buyers, the realty firm adds, will likewise have plenty of choices in local real estate developments which offer just the right choices to match their budgets. One of these communities is Oak Estates, a project of the national homebuilder D.R. Horton, noted for constructing quality starter homes.

Residences in this community listed in the MLS of Sarasota homes for sale start in the high $200s, featuring three to four bedrooms in floor areas of about 2,000 square feet. Those sales-listed homes with floor plans approaching 3,000 square feet are priced in the low $300s. In another D.R. Horton neighborhood in Sarasota, Red Hawk Reserve, the asking prices rise to the $400s and the $500s for homes of up to 4,300-plus square feet of floor space.