Before You Buy: The Benefits of Pre-Purchase Counseling
Kudos to Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Ellen Podmolik for her recent article focused on the benefits of pre-purchase housing counseling, a service that HPF strongly believes in. The article, “Pre-Purchase Classes Highlight Need For Homebuyer Literacy,” details the various types of pre-purchase housing counseling available to first-time homebuyers, from mandatory classes for borrowers applying for specialized financing to voluntary online courses for those who are unable to attend in-person classes.
There is ample evidence that both pre-purchase and foreclosure prevention counseling work: Ms. Podmolik cites HUD’s pre-purchase housing counseling study from earlier this year, which found that those who completed pre-purchase counseling were less likely to fall delinquent. I have also seen the success of pre-purchase counseling myself; as Executive Director of the Kansas City Neighborhood Alliance (KCNA), I oversaw the pre-purchase counseling of 15,000 homeowners and witnessed first-hand how counseling helps first-time buyers make educated decisions.
Each study and article promoting the efficacy of counseling further proves how meaningful it is for consumers to have access to independent, third party financial guidance. Consumers have told us that they have a strong preference for guidance provided by someone who is independent of their lender, broker, and realtor, and who is truly guiding their choices based on what’s best for them. Many thanks to Ms. Podmolik again for bringing pre-purchase counseling to the forefront.