First-Time Home Buyers Class: What To Know

8 Min Read
Published Dec. 13, 2023
Written By
Kara Porter
Mother and baby in front of new home.

If you’re a first-time home buyer, you’re going to make one of the largest investments in your life, so you want to do it smart and in the right way. One of the most strongly encouraged suggestions is to take a class for first-time buyers. In this article, we will deep dive into what happens in a first-time home buyers class and why it’s highly encouraged for first-time buyers.

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What Is A First-Time Home Buyers Class?

If you’re looking to purchase a property for the first time, a first-time home buyers class can be a great resource. These classes are offered by mortgage lenders, online providers, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-approved agencies and other housing organizations.

The purpose of these classes is to provide guidance on buying your first home. You’ll learn about the home buying process and getting a mortgage, so you will feel more comfortable when it’s time to decide. Most classes cover the pros and cons of being a homeowner, as well as what can go right and wrong. These courses also detail the mortgage process, including what to expect and how to overcome any challenges more easily and quickly.

These home buyer education courses are available both online and in-person, so you can choose the one that suits your learning style and availability.

Why Should You Take A First-Time Home Buyer Class?

If you’re a first-time home buyer, you should take one of the available education courses for several reasons. One of the main motivations is to gain a better understanding of the basics of homeownership. Owning a property is a significant milestone, and taking home buying education courses can help you navigate the various responsibilities that come with it, such as managing maintenance costs, understanding lease agreements and complying with zoning regulations.

Aside from that, you may also need to take them to qualify for down payment assistance (DPA). Many first-time home buyer programs require applicants to complete specific education courses. Being a part of these programs makes the dream of owning a home more affordable by receiving financial assistance to cover part of the down payment, which is a massive win on your part. By taking these first-time home buying education courses, you can enhance your chance of qualifying for these beneficial programs for your pockets and yourself as a first-time home buyer. However, keep in mind that not all lenders will accept all DPA programs. It’s best to speak with a loan expert to see which ones are accepted by your lender.

Additionally, attending these courses can offer an opportunity for you to expand your knowledge of the real estate industry. Understanding the housing market can be challenging, and these courses can help provide insights into the current trends, market conditions and financing options available. By taking these courses, you can make more informed decisions about your property searches and negotiations when looking at houses.

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What Do You Learn In Classes For First-Time Home Buyers?

While each class differs, here are some of the most common topics covered in home buyer education courses:

  • The home buying process: When taking these first-time home buying courses you will learn that there are various steps to buying a home. You will learn about each expected step in home buying and learn some tips and tricks that will help you relieve some stress when the time comes to buy your first home.
  • Closing costs: In the first-time home buyers course you will learn about the common closing costs and understand the full cost of buying a home. These will include lender fees, attorney and title fees, title insurance, taxes, prepaid insurance, prepaid property taxes and HOA fees, if applicable.
  • Types of home loans: For those who have never owned a home, first-time home buyer loans and programs can make homeownership more affordable. By taking this course, you‘ll learn about various first-time home buyer loans and programs, such as FHA loans, VA loans, USDA loans, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac programs, state first-time home buyer programs, home renovation loans and more. The first-time home buyer class will cover these different types of home loans in detail.
  • Credit score requirements: Most first-time buyers think that they need perfect credit to buy a home, but you’ll learn that you only need a certain credit score to purchase a home. With taking the course you’ll learn what credit score you need and even how you can get it if your current credit score falls short.
  • Down payment: When you want to buy something that you can’t afford to pay for in cash, you can secure a loan by making an initial lump sum payment called a down payment. If you’re a first-time home buyer, you’ll learn more about down payments and how much you need to put down in the first-time home buyers course.
  • Mortgage insurance: Many first-time home buyers are hesitant about mortgage insurance because they lack a clear understanding of what it is and how it works. This class is designed specifically for first-time buyers to help you dispel mortgage insurance myths and demonstrate how it can benefit you instead of causing harm.

Pros And Cons Of Taking A First-Time Home Buyer Education Course

A first-time home buyers class has its pros and cons. Understanding both sides can help you determine if the class is right for you.


Here are some of the advantages you can expect to enjoy when taking a first-time buyer class. These benefits are just a few examples of what most first-time buyers appreciate and gain from the course, but you may discover others as well.

  • Learning important mortgage terminology
  • Uncovering the costs associated with homeownership
  • Discovering how to improve a credit score before applying for a mortgage
  • Accessing expert knowledge
  • Understanding eligibility for down payment or closing cost assistance programs
  • Knowing how to understand the full cost of homeownership, not just the cost of your mortgage payment each month



As there are many positives with taking a first-time home buyers class, there are a few negatives to taking the course that you should consider.

  • Costs associated with the class
  • The possibility of experiencing information overload
  • Potential scheduling conflicts with attending a class
  • It can be required by certain assistance programs even if you know everything already

How To Find A First-Time Home Buyer Class

If you’re a first-time home buyer with questions, it could be beneficial to take a first-time home buyer education class. This class will provide you with the necessary knowledge and empower you to make informed decisions. To find a class, you can ask your real estate agent, who can recommend reputable programs. You can also check with local banks, credit unions and housing agencies as they often offer these classes. Online platforms are also an option, providing flexibility for scheduling. You may find courses through HUD or organizations like Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.


If you plan to take an online first-time home buyers class, there are several ways to do it. One option is visiting website for such entities as Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae to find courses. There are plenty of online classes available that can help. The class may cost around $100-$200 and take approximately 8-12 hours to complete. Another option is to take a shorter, more focused class that costs around $50-$75 and lasts around 4-6 hours. Additionally, some real estate agents or lenders may offer their own online classes for free or at a reduced rate.


If you prefer to take the first-time home buyers class in person, one option is to visit a local library or community center where the class may be offered. Another option is to contact a real estate agent or lender who may offer the class as part of their services. If you’re currently working with a real estate agent, REALTOR or lender, inquire if they offer a first-time home buyer class. The cost of the class can vary depending on where it’s offered and who offers it, but it’s likely to be in the range of $50 to $200. The length of the class can also vary depending on the specific content and the instructor, but it’s likely to last up to 8 hours.


One note to check on before signing up for any local course. If you are planning to take a class with the intention of qualifying for a particular grant or loan program, it is crucial to ensure that the course meets the requirements for that program. You wouldn’t want to pay for a course only to discover later that you need to take a different one. Therefore, it is essential to verify that the course you are considering is the right one before enrolling.

First-Time Home Buyers Class FAQs

Picking the right first-time home buyers class can be just as tough as finding the perfect house. Let’s look at some frequently asked questions about the first-time buyer classes below.

How long is a first-time home buyers class?

Many first-time home buyers courses are 4 – 8 hours long. The free Fannie Mae course takes approximately 3 – 4 hours to complete.

How much do classes for first-time buyers cost?

First-time buyer classes can vary in cost, ranging from free to $125. Some lenders may even credit the cost of the course toward your closing costs. The cost of the class will depend on the website or location where you plan to take it.

Is it required to take a first-time home buyer education course?

Many state home buyer assistance programs and some mortgage lenders require borrowers, especially first-time home buyers, to take a home buyer education course. If your loan program or lender doesn’t require it, then it’s your choice whether to take the class or not.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, attending a first-time home buyers class can be highly beneficial for those looking to purchase their dream home. By taking the class, you can become an informed buyer and learn about the entire process in detail. This knowledge can help you become a successful homeowner. However, it’s important to note that these classes can be lengthy and may not always be available at a convenient time for your schedule. Despite this, investing your time in a first-time home buyers class is a wise decision for your future homeowner needs. If you’ve already taken the class and have begun your home buying journey, you can today.

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Get matched with a lender that will work for your financial situation.


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