What should the federal government’s role be in helping prepare consumers to make financial decisions? How can the housing industry help lead the way for better consumer knowledge and protection?
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“In the real estate world, there was one word that used to be the cardinal rule: location, location, location. That was then, before the Great Recession. This is now, and the new cardinal rule of real estate is information, information, information.”
– Michelle Singletary, The Washington Post, August 7, 2010.
Buying a home can be a complex process. Homeownership education offers many benefits to consumers, including improving financial health and money management skills and reducing loan delinquencies and defaults. The more information homebuyers and homeowners have, the more prepared they will be for these responsibilities
According to the 2012 National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 78 percent of first time homebuyers and 60 percent of all buyers say helping understand the home buying process is a benefit they receive from their agent. Facilitating responsible, sustainable homeownership is at the heart of what REALTORS® do and NAR has partnered with various non-profit and government agencies over the years to educate consumers on the increasingly complex home buying process.
As part of a partnership, HUD and NAR produced and distributed a series of three videos to help buyers understand the process of buying a home, applying for and securing a mortgage, and completing the closing process. NAR also collaborated with the Center for Responsible Lending and NeighborWorks on a series of brochures that provided information on various types of mortgages, how to prevent foreclosures, and how to avoid predatory lending. In addition, NAR offers an Employer-Assisted Housing class where REALTORS® work with local employers to help their employees become homeowners. NAR is also an endorser of the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling which are a set of guidelines for quality homeownership and counseling services.
Helping individuals and families to achieve the dream of homeownership is no small challenge. Homeownership education and counseling is a critical step in helping many individuals and families achieve and sustain the dream of homeownership.
Joseph M. Ventrone is the Vice President for Regulatory and Industry Relations at NAR.
Welcome to the BPC Housing Commission expert forum! This forum is intended to foster interactive and substantive discussion about pressing housing issues. Each month contributors from different parts of the housing sector will be invited to respond to a discussion topic. Guest posts will feature prominently on BPC’s website, as well as be shared regularly with Housing Commissioners to help inform their work.
Have a pressing question you’d like us to consider? Please leave it in the comments section. We encourage you and our expert bloggers to add comments, contributing to the national dialogue on solutions for the future of the housing sector.
Expert bloggers are not members of the BPC Housing Commission. Any views expressed on this forum do not necessarily represent the views of the Housing Commission, its Co-Chairs, or the Bipartisan Policy Center.