The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development includes on its Web site a list of approved housing counseling agencies many of which offer first-time homebuyer programs. These programs are designed to help first time home buyers weigh the benefits of renting vs. buying. The programs teach first time home buyers about the different mortgage programs that are available, the value of a home inspection, and what to expect at closing. First time home buyers who participate in one of these courses are much less likely to fall prey to predatory lending practices and report a higher level of satisfaction with their home ownership decision.
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