Hopeful and potential homebuyers gathered Tuesday for a Home Buying 101 class at the Stewart C. Meyer Harker Heights Library.

Melody Squires from Fort Hood Army Community Service taught the class.

“Start with considering what are your expectations; determine what you can afford,” Squires said.

The class considered advantages and disadvantages of homeownership, including whether to buy a new or an established home. Participants also learned how reviewing spending plans and debts and credit reports in the beginning will save money and improve credit.

“I’m trying to get into a position to buy a home and provide stability for my family,” said Maria Tapia, a Harker Heights resident.

Free budgeting apps, looking at bank statements, keeping receipts to create a spending plan and track where money is going helps people determine what kind of home they can afford.

Squires offered tips such as paying off credit cards for a higher credit score.

Squires advised potential homebuyers to ask questions at every step of the process, and to carefully look over all paperwork, including credit reports, for accuracy.

The class also learned what is included in a house payment, and how to use a calculator to compare insurance companies.

“You’re going to have a stack of papers,” Squires said about closing day.

The class also covered down payments, homeowners insurance, settlement costs, home inventory checklist and questions to ask a home inspector.

“There are a lot of things I never took into account,” Tapia said. “This opened my eyes.”

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