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Online course prepares first-time home buyers

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As the homeownership market slowly improves in Minnesota and the spring buying market gets underway, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Minnesota Homeownership Center and Minnesota Housing Finance Agency want to remind potential buyers that information is the key to successful homeownership.

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Consumers interested in purchasing their first home can now access Framework, a revolutionary new online course, based on the award-winning Home Stretch curriculum that has taught tens of thousands of Minnesota families how to be successful homeowners over the last two decades.

Framework is the region's first online homebuyer education course. Its module-based design allows homebuyers to participate in homebuyer education at their own pace, and from the convenience of home. Built-in tests ensure comprehension of material, and many national and local lenders have approved the course as meeting homebuyer education standards required of many first-time homebuyer loans and programs.

"The Framework online education course will help Minnesotans make good decisions when purchasing their first home," said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. "With better tools and knowledge, first time buyers can avoid pitfalls, particularly the problems in the housing market we have seen over the last decade. Educating consumers will help families and communities throughout Minnesota."

Developed as a partnership of the Minnesota Homeownership Center and the Housing Partnership Network, Framework teaches buyers the basics of purchasing a home in an easy-to-use, interactive, format. The course includes an in-depth understanding of the homebuying process, how to choose the right home, the importance of credit and good financial management, how a lender determines how much to lend, the importance of working with a real estate professional and the buyer's rights and responsibilities once they become an owner.

Julie Gugin, the Executive Director of the Minnesota Homeownership Center added, "We know from the results of several recent studies that buyers who complete homebuyer education before purchasing their first home are less likely to fall behind in their mortgage and more likely to successful homeowners in the long run. Homebuyer education is the key component to a full housing recovery."

Developed as a partnership of the Minnesota Homeownership Center and the Housing Partnership Network, Framework teaches buyers the basics of purchasing a home in an easy-to-use, interactive, format. The course includes an in-depth understanding of the homebuying process, how to choose the right home, the importance of credit and good financial management, how a lender determines how much to lend, the importance of working with a real estate professional and the buyer's rights and responsibilities once they become an owner.

Founded in 1993, the Minnesota Homeownership Center is celebrating 20 years of promoting successful homeownership throughout the state and has been one of the state's primary responders to the foreclosure crisis.

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