First-Time Home Buyer

FHA loans are often considered the best for first-time buyers due to lower minimum credit score requirements and down payments as low as 3.5%.

The amount you can borrow depends on your income, debts, credit score, and other financial factors. Typically, lenders recommend spending no more than 28% of your gross monthly income on housing expenses.

Yes, FHA loans are government-backed and available to anyone who meets the criteria, whereas first-time home buyer programs may offer additional benefits like down payment assistance but might have stricter eligibility requirements.

Generally, FHA loans are the easiest for which to get approved due to their lower credit score and down payment requirements.

Mortgage lenders often offer a broader array of loan products and may provide more flexibility in underwriting, whereas banks may offer better rates or terms to existing customers.

For the most competitive interest rates, a credit score of 740 or higher is typically required.

Your first mortgage payment generally covers interest for the first full month after your closing date and will be the same as subsequent payments unless you have an adjustable-rate mortgage.

While specific programs may vary, many programs for first-time home buyers require a minimum down payment of 3.5% to 5%.

Benefits can include access to special loan programs, down payment assistance, possible tax credits, and more favorable loan terms.

Down payment assistance programs can provide grants or low-interest loans that are either forgiven over time or repaid along with the mortgage to help cover down payment and closing costs.

Consider factors such as safety, proximity to work, quality of local schools, property value trends, and neighborhood amenities.

Overlooking additional costs like property taxes, homeowners insurance, and maintenance; not shopping around for a mortgage; and buying more house than they can afford.

Very important, as it gives you an idea of how much you can borrow and strengthens your position when you make an offer on a home.

Yes, self-employed buyers need to provide additional documentation concerning their income stability and business finances.

Understand that property taxes can significantly affect your monthly housing costs and that these taxes can increase over time.

A general home inspection, a pest inspection, and possibly specialized inspections like radon or mold depending on the area and age of the home.

Include contingencies for financing, inspections, and appraisal in the contract to allow legal ways to withdraw if certain conditions aren’t met.

A real estate agent can provide valuable advice, help you navigate the home buying process, assist in negotiation, and help find properties that meet your needs and budget.

While you can technically buy a house with a credit score as low as 500 (FHA loans), most conventional loans will require a credit score of 620 or higher.

Most first-time buyers finance their purchase through a variety of loan options available from private lenders, backed by government programs, or through special first-time buyer programs offering favorable terms.