First-Time Home Buyers and Programs
The excitement surrounding buying your first home is unmatched. This is probably the biggest purchase you will make in your lifetime! It can be overwhelming with all that goes in to searching for the perfect home and securing financing, but it doesn’t have to be. Below, we will outline some of the basics for first-time home buyers, and the different first-time home buyer programs that may be available to you.
What Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Know?
The best thing you can do to prepare yourself for purchasing a home is to reach out to a mortgage loan officer. They will help you determine how much of a loan you can afford and get you a pre-approval letter. You can take that letter to a realtor, who will help you find the home you are looking for. Once you go under contract, you will come back to the mortgage lender and go through the loan process.
During the loan process, you don’t want to make any significant changes that could affect your financing. These would include: changing jobs, quitting your job, making a big purchase on a credit card, paying off debt, taking out a new loan of any kind, opening any new credit cards, etc. Any of these things would need to wait until after you have closed on the loan, so that you don’t jeopardize your loan approval.
First-Time Home Buyer Programs
There are several programs available to first-time home buyers that you can take advantage of. If you are doing a conventional loan, Fannie Mae has a HomeReady program and Freddie Mac has a HomePossible program. Both of these only require a 3% down payment, as opposed to the 5% usually required on straight conventional loans. VA and USDA loans don’t require any down payment, and FHA loans only require 3.5% down. Individual states and cities often offer their own grant programs as well, where you can qualify for down payment assistance, or even a gift, depending on your income. Your loan officer can let you know which of these you qualify for, and which one makes the most sense for you.
Being a first-time homebuyer doesn’t have to be stressful. If you prepare yourself by getting pre-approved for your mortgage loan upfront, you are already ahead of the game. A pre-approval letter can set you apart from other buyers and make your offer more competitive. Your real estate agent will also be in your corner to help you through all stages of the home buying and loan process. Reach out to Michael at USA Mortgage, to get started on a pre-approval, and see what advantages can come from being a first-time homebuyer.