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Keywords:

  • housing;
  • homeownership;
  • homebuyer training

This study examines a previously overlooked factor in the rate of default on home loans by marginal first-time homebuyers; namely, the purchase transaction process. In particular, the study examines the potential for the type of initial contact in a homebuyer assistance program to affect the likelihood of default on a subsequent home loan. Using data from 41 state funded local assistance programs in Florida, the study is able to examine the relationship of program default rates to the source of applicant for assistance. Specifically, it examines the explanatory capacity of the percentage of applicants who had a contract to purchase prior to applying for assistance, indicated that the applicant already has engaged with a broker or lender. It finds that the percentage of applicants for assistance who already have engaged with a broker or lender is very significantly and positively relate to the program default rate.