For many first-time homebuyers, the process can seem daunting and overwhelming. The search for a home, the mortgage application process and mountains of paperwork can be exhausting and nerve-wracking.

There are homeowner education programs, but many buyers don’t know they exist. The Texas Association of Realtors and the Texas State Affordable Housing Corp. have joined together to ensure that Texas residents have an outlet to learn more about buying a home and potentially remove some anxiety from the home buying process. The two organizations have partnered to launch “Get Ready Texas: Making Texans Homeowners for Life”.

“Get Ready Texas” promotes the benefits of homeowner education. Some of the topics in a homebuyer education class are understanding credit, reducing debt, determining if you are ready to buy a home, understanding mortgage loans, avoiding predatory loans, navigating the home-buying process, finding local and state down payment assistance programs and understanding the ongoing responsibilities of homeownership.

The program will work to increase awareness of homeowner education programs among potential homebuyers, Realtors, lenders, loan officers and housing industry partners in Texas.

“Studies have shown that homebuyers who receive pre-purchase education are one-third less likely to fall behind on their mortgages by 90 days or more, compared to homebuyers who didn’t take a homebuyer education course,” said David Long, president of the TSAHC. “We know that Texas Realtors want their clients to be successful homeowners, so partnering with the TAR to spread the word about these programs to the public was a natural fit.”

TSAHC provides access to homebuyer education in several ways, beginning with the Texas Financial Toolbox. An online resource, the toolbox helps homebuyers identify homebuyer education programs available to them as well as financial and credit counseling resources, homeownership assistance programs and foreclosure-prevention counseling.

“The TAR has worked with TSAHC in the past through our ‘United Texas’ program, which educates Texas Realtors about the resources available for clients seeking affordable housing,” Dan Hatfield, chairman of the TAR explained. “This program takes that partnership one step further, empowering Texas Realtors to help their clients ‘get ready’ and become homeowners for life.”