Housing experts at Cornell University have developed a guidebook for community educators to help them help first-time home buyers.

The book, "Building A Home Buyers' Education Program," includes specific information on how to plan, market and fund a housing education program, how to find agencies or housing professionals with whom to collaborate, what specific content should be covered as well as informational resource material, sample agendas, formats and delivery methods for the programs and assessment tools to evaluate the success of any given educational program.The guidebook is available free on computer through Internet from Almanac aac.cornell.edu by using the request: "send hbg all." Or you can purchase a notebook version by contacting Penny Evans, Resource Center, 7BTP, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., 14850, (607) 255-7660.

The book was written by Jeanne Hogarth, Ph.D, Cornell associate professor of consumer economics and housing, and Joseph Laquatra, Ph.D., Cornell associate professor of design and environmental analysis.

"Buyers, especially first-time buyers, need help with issues ranging from whether to buy, where to buy (urban vs. rural) and what to buy (condo, co-op, house) to how to finance and inspect a home and what to consider regarding neighborhood issues," said Hogarth.

View Comments

"They also need to consider environmental factors such as radon and lead pollution, energy costs, what is involved in maintaining the home's mechanical systems and what to consider after they've purchased the home," said Laquatra.

Added Hogarth: "Housing accounts for about 18 percent of the economic activity in this country, and first-time buyers generate a chain reaction of activity as current owners trade up and new home owners purchase household equipment, furnishings, remodeling and redecorating services.

Although the process is complicated, with many steps and types of professionals involved, it is vital to the nation's economy. And the better educated home buyers are, and the more that limited-resource individuals can enter the housing market, the better for all involved."

To develop the project, the authors surveyed extension housing specialists in 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam to determine exactly what the extension housing specialists needed to improve their housing education programs.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.