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Online videos aim to help first-time homebuyers

Three new homebuyer how-to videos released by the

Three new homebuyer how-to videos released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the National Association of Realtors clearly were produced with the KISS principle in mind: Keep it simple, stupid. Photo Credit: http://www.youtube.com/hudchannel

Three new homebuyer how-to videos released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the National Association of Realtors clearly were produced with the KISS principle in mind: Keep it simple, stupid.

The videos strip the home-buying process down to the basics, and they’re available in the preferred format of the age group most likely to be making their first home purchase: YouTube.com videos.

“I think it’s a great idea,” says Lynn Law of the Long Island Housing Partnership. Law produced three similar informational videos for Fannie Mae in the 1990s. “Each generation has to do this. There was no YouTube in 1998, so it’s definitely time to reach out again,” she says. “So many first-time homebuyers are in the younger generation who would be apt to see it on YouTube, so it’s a fantastic idea … And the fact that it comes from a reputable source tells us the information is reliable and accurate.”

The videos -- which are accessible from the web sites of HUD, NAR and on HUD’s youtube.com channel -- are primers for rookie homebuyers on how to shop for a home, shop for a loan and close the deal.

Shopping for your Home is the first of the series and touches on topics such as personal finance, credit, housing counseling, finding a real estate agent and making an offer. The second video, Shopping for your Loan, gives a helpful breakdown of how to use a good faith estimate (GFE) -- a document lenders are required to provide disclosing all the estimated costs associated with the loan – to identify and compare loan terms.

Closing the Deal is the last part of the series, explains the settlement process and how to compare the GFE to the HUD-1 settlement statement – a three-page form listing all the charges and credits related to the home purchase.


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