Most future homeowners begin with a visit with a realtor. That makes logical sense, until you identify your perfect starter home and realize you can’t afford it. There is nothing more frustrating. Most realtors will advise you to begin with a local lender. Getting prequalified for a mortgage establishes the price range in which you can make an offer and close the deal.

Unfortunately, many prospective homebuyers find that their ability to afford and what they want are two entirely different things. It’s the Cadillac appetite on a Chevy budget metaphor in real life. This is the point where understanding the home buying process can help. Many resources are available on-line to take the mystery out of the process.

In Wyoming, the Wyoming Housing Network (WHN) provides an on-line course ( which provides a two part program.  Step 1 is the online course. Step 2 is a one-on -one counseling session with a WHN staffer. The staffer can guide you through your budget, credit issues, and also speak to available assistance programs. Upon completion, the participant receives a certificate qualifying you for an array of programs.