I went to one that was run by some random realtor that was advertising a class online, and it was TERRIBLE. I wish I remembered the name. I know that was only one experience, but my takeaway was that those classes are bogus, and you might as well just find a really great realtor. Ultimately I worked with Kevin Wood (http://www.kevinjosephwood.com/) and he was amazing for first time homebuyers – sat down with me over coffee, talked me through the whole process, and had some good resources to share as well. It wasn’t an official “class” but even better because it was one on one!
DHCD (DC Gov’t) has housing counseling through various non-profits. Here’s the website for more information — http://dhcd.dc.gov/service/housing-counseling. I found the Latino Economic Development Corporation, in Adam’s Morgan, to be very helpful.
The Greater Washington Urban League has a fantastic homebuyer counseling program. I learned so much (for free!) and the speakers they brought in were professionals based in DC – one of whom I actually later hired to do the home inspections because he was so awesome. More info: http://www.gwul.org/programs/housing
Full disclosure- I am a real estate agent, and we do First Time Home Buyer classes. You can find us on http://www.dchomebuzz.com. We really do believe there is value in giving people who come to our class as much information as possible on the process of purchasing a home, and what you need to do to prepare. We cover information including the first time home buyer programs/incentives that each jurisdiction, financing options, contingencies etc. It is 2 hours long, and it is NOT a ‘sales class’. There is no obligation to use us as your agent after the class. We should be hosting another class coming up soon in September. Feel free to e-mail me on [email protected], and I can send you exact dates once they are set up. If you are looking to pull the trigger before then, I would be happy to sit down and talk you through the content we cover.
I took the homebuyer classes through the Urban League. It’s free and you learned so much about the homebuying process. I took the classes (I think there were 5 or 6 in all – can’t really remember) I took the classes in 1996. The speakers included loan officers, police officers (to give you tips on keeping your home safe and secure), home inspectors, etc. They were very thorough and they impress upon you the importance if having an emergency fund, home owners insurance, home repairs, general house maintenance and lots of other good tips. I highly recommend their classes.
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