We know the steps, requirements and expenses when becoming a first-time homebuyer can feel overwhelming.
At Ruckart Real Estate, we know becoming a first-time homebuyer only happens once. We’re here to make you feel comfortable and be in the best position to purchase the home of your dreams.
Many people don’t realize there are special advantages and programs created to encourage new entrants into the real estate market. As a first-time homebuyer, you have access to state programs and tax breaks. Federally-backed loans are available if you don’t have the usual minimum down payment (ideally 20% of the purchase price for a conventional loan) or are a member of a certain group.
Many states offer financial assistance with down payments and closing costs. Expenses to rehab or improve a property, for a first-time homebuyer who qualifies are also often available. Here in Virginia, several programs are available for first time buyers from Virginia Housing, the state’s organization charged with helping residents become homeowners.
It’s a good idea to know how much a lender will loan you, or even get pre-approved before you start to look at homes. You may think you can afford a $500,000 home, but are only approved for a $350,000 loan based on factors like how much other debt you have, your monthly income, and how long you’ve been at your current job. In many instances, sellers won’t even entertain an offer that’s not accompanied by a mortgage pre-approval.
Don’t feel like you have to work with your current financial institution. We recommend shopping around for a lender, or talking to one of our preferred lenders, and comparing interest rates and fees by using a tool like a mortgage calculator.
Fees can be surprisingly varied. An FHA loan, for example, may have different fees depending on the bank, credit union, mortgage banker, or mortgage broker. Mortgage interest rates, which have a major impact on the total price that you pay for your home, also vary.
Don’t forget, just because you are eligible for a $300,000 loan doesn’t mean that you should actually borrow that much. In deciding how big a loan to actually take, look at the house’s total cost, not just the monthly payment. Consider the cost of property taxes and homeowners insurance, how much you will spend to maintain or improve the house, and how much your closing costs will be.
We understand this is a once-in-a-lifetime moment and we’re grateful for the opportunity to serve you. Want to learn about the programs you qualify for, interests rates and loans, or the home-buying process? We’d love to share some more information with you. Give us a call or reach out to one of our agents today.