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Perspectives Blog

Expanding Equitable Homeownership Opportunities, Starting with Education

January 12, 2022
PJ McCarthy
PJ McCarthy

Vice President, Single-Family Affordable Lending and Housing Equity

The homebuying process – whether it's your first experience or you've been through it before – can be exciting, but also intimidating. With the first thought of purchasing a home, prospective homebuyers have a lot to do, from figuring out how much they can spend and strengthening their credit, to qualifying for a mortgage and finding and closing on a home.

But as the proverb goes, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." In the homeownership journey, Fannie Mae believes that foundational education is the best first step to enable aspiring homebuyers to be successful – helping to ensure they are informed, empowered, and prepared to buy a home they can afford for the long term.

Our research demonstrates that consumers are eager to learn. They want to know how much they can afford, what their financing options are, what documents are needed, how to manage their credit score, and if they qualify for down payment assistance. And they are willing to put in the work to get smart on the process, whether taking a class or doing the research.

However, many also say they don't know where to turn for credible information and resources. For consumers who are unsure or apprehensive about the homebuying process, their homeownership journey might end before it begins. Confusion or misinformation about what it takes to qualify for a mortgage or buy a home can discourage potential homebuyers from taking next steps. These challenges are especially pronounced for lower-income households and communities of color, who are already disadvantaged from a legacy of systemically racist housing policies and other discriminatory barriers to homeownership.

Fannie Mae is committed to advancing equitable and sustainable housing opportunities, and we believe that expanding access to free, reliable, and quality education will put more people responsibly on their way to owning a home. That's why we are so proud to introduce Fannie Mae HomeView, our new online education course. HomeView provides prospective homebuyers a clearer path to homeownership with dependable, comprehensive, easy-to-use content and resources at no charge – helping them not only to navigate the process of buying a home but also to feel confident and empowered throughout their entire homeownership journey.

HomeView is designed based on consumer research and feedback from industry partners, including housing counselors, mortgage insurers, and other stakeholders and experts in the homebuying process. The HomeView educational course covers everything a prospective homebuyer needs to know to prepare to buy a home – breaking down the process into seven interactive learning modules – so they can make the best possible decision for their financial situation. The content is easy to understand and accessible from anywhere at any time. Users can pause and resume at their convenience, and there's no limit to the number of times they can retake the modules.

Importantly, the course aligns with National Industry Standards – it can be used by homebuyers and lenders to meet pre-purchase homeownership education requirements for certain mortgage products, including low-down-payment loans. And because HomeView is available for free, it alleviates the cost burden for lower-income borrowers to complete the course when required for a more affordable mortgage.

HomeView also is equipped with calculators, checklists, and other resources to help distill the homebuying process, address frequently asked questions, and dispel common myths. For those who need additional support, HomeView provides referrals to HUD-approved housing counselors located in the consumer's area.

Launching HomeView is our first step toward providing all consumers with an intuitive, centralized, on-demand learning experience equipped with the information, tools, and resources they need during their housing journey. It is a critical component of Fannie Mae's commitment to drive greater housing equity and expand access to affordable, sustainable housing opportunities – work that is inextricably tied to our purpose, rooted in our Charter, and embodied by our spirit of continuous improvement and innovation.

Take the journey with us. Explore HomeView at