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Staff photo by GRANT MORRIS

Patty Duby and Nick Halamoutis, left, listen to New Hampshire Housing’s Andy Cadorette as he opens a class for first-time homebuyers at Harbor Homes in Nashua on Tuesday evening.
Sunday, February 12, 2012

Finance authority’s seminars helpful for first-time homebuyers

NASHUA – Nick Halamoutis and Patty Duby may not know much about how to buy a house, but they do know they’re ready to stop throwing their money down the rent drain.

“We’d rather put our money into something we own,” Duby said. “It’s a lot of money.”

The Nashua couple were part of a handful of people who attended a first-time homebuyers seminar in Nashua last week. The seminar, hosted by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority, is one of several dozen that it and other nonprofit groups host every year.

As the housing market continues to rebound, so has the attendance and interest in the seminars, said Jane Law, a finance authority spokeswoman.

“We’re getting far more people in our seminars this year and in the last several months than in comparative months in the previous year,” Law said.

Andrew Cadorette, the finance authority’s education coordinator, ran the seminar last week at Harbor Homes. Over the two-day session, would-be homebuyers heard about the organization’s programs and learned about financing, credit, saving, mortgages, interest rates, points and more from industry experts.

“It’s really a place for someone to start,” Cadorette said. “Hopefully, we’ll empower them so when they do start the process, they’ll know what questions to ask and what to expect. They come to a class like this and hopefully learn what they need to know to be in a position to buy.”

Jane Jordan, a loan officer at Mortgage Network in Bedford, said classes aren’t the only thing getting busier. Jordan also has seen an uptick in the housing market.

“It’s a great market. It’s very busy,” she said. “There’s a lot of first-time buyers.”

There are more buyers overall, too, according to last year’s housing numbers.

Home sales increased by 1.8 percent in 2011, including an 8 percent spike in December. Condominium sales dropped 2.1 percent, including a 3 percent drop in December, according to the New Hampshire Association of Realtors.

Prices for homes and condos dropped last year by about 6 percent statewide and by about 8 percent in Hillsborough County, according to the association.

Law said the classes not only educate buyers, but also can help their chances of scoring favorable loan terms. Some lenders require similar classes, and others are more comfortable lending money to graduates.

“In general, a lot of people in the industry believe that an educated buyer is a better buyer,” Law said. “It just makes them a more responsible consumer, and a lot of lenders think they make a more stable borrower because they are better prepared ahead of time.”

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or Also, follow Cote on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).