Free Home Buyer Education Classes: Worth the Investment in Time

Submitted by Skip Thompson for Guild Mortgage

Since 2007, the majority of home sales have been by people buying their first home. With the ongoing hot market, it is more important than ever for first-time home buyers to get educated on the home buying process.

Fortunately, free home buyer education classes are available to give buyers a high-level overview of the home buying process. The Washington State Housing Finance Commission sponsors free classes all over the state.

These five-hour classes are usually taught by a team of real estate professionals including mortgage lenders, real estate agents, and home inspectors. Each instructor will cover their area of expertise and provide helpful hints to possibly save you money, time, and stress when buying a home.

Skip Thompson
Skip Thompson of Guild Mortgage has taught home buyer classes for over 10 years. Photo courtesy: Guild Mortgage

Skip Thompson of Guild Mortgage has taught these classes for over 10 years. Some of the topics Skip covers include: mortgage terminology, credit, types of mortgages and understanding loan estimates.

Mortgage Terminology

Understanding the terms used in the mortgage industry and real estate is first step. Using the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions Guild to Home Loans, Skip will explain the titles and roles of all of the people involved in your home purchase. He will also explain the most common terms, so buyers can understand the basics before they meet with a lender.


Skip will address the minimum credit scores and credit requirements to be approved for most mortgage loans. He will even give suggestions on how to improve credit scores.

Learning how credit scores effect loan costs such as interest rates, mortgage insurance, and even home insurance can help you save thousands of dollars.

Types of Mortgages/Loan Estimates

Instructors will cover the basic requirements and pros and cons of conventional, FHA, VA, and USDA Loans. Once the basics are covered, Skip will give an overview of the zero-down options offered by The Washington State Housing Finance Commission’s programs. A fair amount of time is dedicated to reviewing and understanding a loan estimate, so buyers will know how to shop around for the best available loan terms.

Other topics covered include: advantages and disadvantages of homeownership, pre-qualification versus pre-approval, creating a budget, and the steps to homeownership.

A local home inspector will discuss the differences between an appraisal and a home inspection and explain the various inspections that are available.

Home Buyers Class with Guild Mortgage
Homebuyer Education Class with Skip Thompson and a fellow Realtor as instructors. Photo courtesy: Guild Mortgage

Skip will also have a local Realtor explain the process of shopping for homes, negotiating a real estate purchase contract, and escrow closing. The Realtor will discuss the major provisions and consumer protections included in a Washington real estate contract, including earnest money deposits, property disclosures, and inspections. Lastly, the Realtor will summarize the home buying process from shopping for a mortgage lender all the way through closing escrow and getting the keys to your new home.

Attendees receive a completion certificate issued by The Washington State Housing Finance Commission. This certificate is valid for two years. They will also receive a complimentary packet of information including a glossary of home buying terms, examples of forms such as loan estimates, information on zero-down home loans, and checklists of documents needed for mortgage preapproval.

As a bonus, borrowers who do their mortgage with Skip get access to his moving truck and a professional driver for eight hours to help move into their new home.

To learn more about these classes, please visit Olympia Home Buyer Education’s website or call Skip Thompson at Guild Mortgage at 360-91-8880 or visit Skip’s website.

NMLS ID #3274 / Individual NMLS#1308270

Print Friendly, PDF & Email