An Intergalactic Lack Of Knowledge

Dated: 02/01/2017

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This past week, word had reached my ears that the federal money available for homebuyers in a certain grant program would run out by April 1st of this year–despite the date, I’m fairly certain it’s not intended as some cosmic April Fool’s Day joke.At any rate, a real estate agent that I’ve worked with for many years felt it would be a good idea to make a big deal of this and put together some Facebook and Instagram posts letting potential homebuyers know that time is running out.No argument here.Anyone who’s sort of been sitting on the fence about buying a home could use a little nudge, and this might be just what they need.

After I had created the posts and put them out there, I started to think about what will happen once this federal grant does run out.What will potential homebuyers do who need help coming up with a down payment?And you know what the next thing was that popped into my head when I asked myself that question?A scene from the movie “Men in Black”. I’m sure you know which scene.

Agent J (Will Smith), in pursuit of the guy in the Edgar suit (VincentD’Onofrio), has fired his laser gun in an attempt to stop the guy in the Edgar suit.Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) quickly pulls J aside and admonishes him: “We do not discharge our weapons in view of the public!”J, frustrated by being stopped in his pursuit, complains that in times like this, the rules need to be thrown out the window, and K responds with, “There'sALWAYSanArquillianBattle Cruiser, or aCorillianDeath Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet, and the only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they DO NOT KNOW ABOUT IT!”

So, I now return to the question: What will homebuyers do when this federal grant program runs out?And to answer it, I invoke the wisdom of Agent K: There’s ALWAYS a federal grant program or a state-sponsored incentive to help homebuyers–and there always will be in one way, shape, or form.Of course, rather than keeping the public FROM knowing about them, we need to shout this from the rooftops so we can all get on with our happy lives.

According to an annual survey conducted byNeighborWorksAmerica, 71% ofAmericans were unaware/not sure about down-payment-assistance programs.The same survey revealed that 77% of those with student debt said they had never heard or were unfamiliar with loan counseling programs from nonprofits.In other words, if all these folks hear about is one federal grant program, and it’s about to run out, it’s likely a high percentage are just going to give up and keep renting.So, while we keep the Arquillian Battle Cruisers, Corillian Death Rays, and intergalactic plagues in check, let’s help homebuyers know they have options–and always will!

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