First-Time Homebuyer’s Guide: All You Need to Know

Are you a first-time home buyer looking forward to purchasing your first home? Do you know how to carry about the process and what it entails? Buying a new home is an overwhelming process and a lifetime commitment. It’s a lifetime decision that should bring ultimate satisfaction to you and your family.

This article lists all the essentials first-time home buyers should consider before shopping and buying a property.

Benefits of a First-Time Homebuyer

Owning a home is a crucial element of achieving the American dream. First-time buyers have access to tax breaks, state programs, and federal loans if they don’t have the minimum 20% down payment of the purchase price needed for a conventional loan or if one is a member of a group.

What Are the Qualifications of First-Time Buyers

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a first-time buyer is any individual who meets the following conditions:

• Has not owned a principal residence in three years

• A single parent who previously owned a home with the former spouse

• A displaced person who owned a house with a former spouse

• A person owning property not meeting state, local, or building code compliance

• Individuals owning a principal residence without permanent foundations as regulations dictate

The 6 Things to Check Before Purchasing a Home

Before buying a home, it’s good to consider your life goals and how they align with home ownership. Ask the bold question of what you want to achieve. Do you want to attain the convenience and independence of homeownership or convert your rent into a mortgage? All put into the picture, purchasing a home is a good investment.

Here are the essentials to consider before making purchasing a home;

1. Your Financial Health

Evaluating your financial status before making a home-buying decision is essential. You should be able to purchase and cater for subsequent expenses of your dream home. To achieve this, you need to look at the following;


Before purchasing a home, ensure that you have three to six months of living expenses in your emergency fund. These funds will cater for upfront costs, down payments, closing costs, and your lender’s deposit.


Evaluate your monthly spending and allocate your mortgage while factoring in utility bills, savings, and other monthly bills.

Credit Score

Evaluate your credit score and check if you have a good credit score. You must have a history of paying your bills on time and a debt-to-income ratio of 43%.

2. Type of Home That Suit Your Needs and Tastes

Depending on the type of property you want, they all have advantages and disadvantages. Let your homeownership goals be the deciding factor when making the big decision. A fixer-upper is a good bargain but will need you to invest money, time, and labor.

3. Home Features Needed

Home features should be flexible, but since it’s a lifetime investment, close on a deal that fits your wants, needs, and those of the entire family. Create a detailed list to check out your desires. These include the neighborhood, property size, house layout, kitchen fittings, backyard, and other amenities.

4. Mortgage Qualification

Before shopping for a residential property, evaluate how much your lender can commit to your first home financing. Consult your lender first. The lender evaluates you based on your monthly income, other debts, and how long you have held your current job to lend you a specific amount.

Before placing an offer on a home, get pre-approved for a loan. Most sellers prefer offers from buyers with mortgage pre-approval. Apply for a mortgage and fill in the necessary paperwork to get pre-approval. Always shop for a lender with the best rates and fees. Use our mortgage calculator to calculate our rates.

5. How Much Money You Can Afford

Commit yourself to a mortgage you can afford. Most first-time home buyers make the mistake of borrowing more than they can afford just because the bank is willing to lend them. Overborrowing means higher monthly mortgage payments that leave you little cash to cover other expenses. To decide how much you need to borrow, look at the property’s total ownership costs, not only the monthly payments. Focus on local property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and closing costs.

Shopping for a property with a lower budget than the approved mortgage offers financial flexibility in today’s competitive real estate market. With the current high demand, houses are selling over their asking prices, but it’s also important to consider the cost of selling your home.

6. Who is Guiding You Through the Homebuying Process

Seek the services of a prominent real estate agent to guide you through the buying process. A real estate agent will consider your budget and needs first before providing options of the listed property on sale that suit you best. Once you pick the house of your choice, the agent will organize a tour to view and inspect homes that meet your thresholds.

Professional agents will guide you in making offers, negotiating with sellers, loan applications, and filling out the necessary paperwork. A real estate agent shields you from any pitfalls making the process flawless.

Are you a first-time home buyer shopping for a new home and needing help? Are you looking to buy a new home but still stuck with your old house? Browse our listing to schedule a call or get started today. We offer comprehensive solutions whether you’re selling or buying a home. We are your tried and tested real estate partner.

Kimberly Tran

Kimberly Tran brings a wealth of knowledge from her 15 years in architecture and urban planning. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a Master's in Urban Planning. She began her career in a top architectural firm before transitioning to property development. Joining our team in 2020, she has since been a driving force in exploring innovative living spaces. Kimberly balances her professional life with a passion for landscape photography and volunteering in community redevelopment programs.

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