Money: First Time Home Buyer

First Time Home Buyer Assistance

Many people took advantage of the first time home buyers credit. You could deduct up to $8,000 on the purchase of a new home. Unfortunately that program has ended. The good news is that there are still many first time home buyer assistance programs available, you just have to know where to look.

Many government agencies such as Fannie May, Housing and Urban Development, V.A. and the FHA all offer some type of housing assistance for the first time home buyer. The exact programs will vary from one agency to another as will the requirements for each program.

A good place to start is with an online search. Go to each agency and see what programs they have and what the requirements are. You will most likely find a few that you qualify for. Some of them will require you to be pre-approved for a home loan from your local lender. Make sure you follow the instructions perfectly so you don’t slow down the process.

Here is some general information for the first time home buyer:

1. You, and only you, can determine how much house you can afford. The bank will look only at your finances not your lifestyle. If you enjoy spending two weeks every year in Europe, don’t overextend on your mortgage payments. Many people mistakenly think that if the bank approves them for a certain amount than that is what they can afford.

That’s not always the case. Again, the bank only looks at the numbers and not your lifestyle. You should always keep a little space between what you have to pay and what you can really afford.

2. There are many things that have to be factored into that monthly payment. Not only will you pay the principle and interest for your mortgage loan, you will also have to include your home owners insurance premiums and property taxes (this is what’s called: PITI).

So even if you can afford your principle and interest you have to make sure that you can also afford your property taxes and insurance too. I once owned a home where the property tax portion of my monthly payment was more than the actual mortgage amount! Needless to say, I don’t live in that state anymore.

3. Do not skip the inspection. If you hire a qualified inspector you can save yourself a lot of grief down the road. While not fool proof, and inspection will give you a really good idea what problems, if any, your new home has. If the electrical or plumbing will need to be repaired sometime soon that will most likely be able to be found out by an inspection.

If you find problems with the home that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a deal breaker. Many times you can use a slight problem as a negotiating tool to bring down the price.

Even though the tax credit has expired, it’s still a great time to buy since there are still many first time home buyer assistance programs around.

First Time Home Buyer Discount – Find Yours Now

Is there a first time home buyer discount? There was a tax credit available for the first time home buyer, but it expired over the summer. Other than that, various government agencies offer several options for the first time home buyer. Each has it’s own rules and not everyone will qualify for every program.

Visit the websites for each program such as the V.A, FHA, Fannie May, and HUD. Find out what programs they have and which ones you qualify for. Do yourself a favor and carefully check out the requirements for each one before you download and fill out an application. Don’t waste your time applying for programs that you aren’t qualified for hoping to ‘sneak’ in.

Another good resource to find programs is with your local lender or real estate agent. These professionals should have a pretty good idea of what is available and since they know a little about you and your situation, they should be able to steer you in the right direction. This can be a huge time saver.

Some people look around and they see how many distressed homeowners are out there and that scares them off of buying their own home. It really shouldn’t. While it’s true that things happen in life and something bad could happen to you, if you enter into your home buying with your eyes open you’ll be fine.

Many homeowners today are in trouble because of poor planning. The banks approved them for higher mortgages than they could really afford. They were either adjustable rate mortgages which became impossible to pay when the rates went up, or they were just extended to the max of their budget and didn’t have any money saved for that rainy day. As long as you don’t make those mistakes you’ll most likely be fine.

With so many distressed properties on the market, you can find a great deal on your new home. That and the fact that interest rates are still very low make this one of the best times in history to buy your new home.

Remember when you’re figuring out your monthly payment to take your insurance premiums and property taxes into consideration. If your bank doesn’t force you to escrow for your property taxes and insurance, do it anyway. It will make paying these things much easier when the time comes and you don’t have to worry about not having the money when the bills come due.

As long as you keep control of your finances and don’t get ‘talked into’ buying more home than you can comfortably afford, you’ll be fine. Don’t wait to enter the housing market until things ‘get better’. Once that happens you’ll pay a lot more for your home. As long as you use your head and not run on pure emotion the whole process will pay off big.

There is no first time home buyer discount per se, but what there is is a lot of help from various agencies. Find the one that works for you.

First Time Home Owner – Virgin Territory

Becoming a first time home owner is a big step and a fun time, but it can also be overwhelming and it’s easy to get scared. I mean this is a big, big decision and what happens if you make a mistake? Well, I can’t guarantee that you won’t make a mistake but I can tell you that there are some things you can do to make sure that you don’t.

For one thing, times are on your side. What I mean by that is the fact that the recent mortgage meltdown has made banks more cautious than ever. This can actually work in your favor. One big reason that so many homeowners are in trouble right now is that the banks made loans they probably shouldn’t have made.

Homeowners were buying more home than they could really afford because the interest rates were so low. Unfortunately when these adjustable rates sky rocketed many home owners couldn’t afford to pay.

As fun as it might be to blame the banks, the homeowners themselves have to take on some of the blame. I’m not an attorney and I know how hard it can be to understand all those documents but that is no excuse to not ask questions. When you are getting an adjustable rate mortgage it’s just plain dumb to not find out how high your payments could go and make sure that you can afford those high payments.

The point is this: any type of financial transaction is your responsibility. It doesn’t matter if you buy a house, a car or a microwave oven, it’s up to you to make sure that you can afford it and that you find out just what the terms are.

So if your bank approves you for $200.000 you have to be the one who makes sure that you can really afford that mortgage payment. Make sure that you factor your property taxes and insurance into the mix. And make sure you escrow for property taxes and insurance even if the bank says you don’t have to. Most people simply won’t save the money and will find themselves in hot water when those bills come due.

Ask your friends or your bank for a recommendation for a good, licensed home inspector. Don’t skip out on the inspection. Make sure you walk around with the inspector. Don’t worry about sounding dumb or be afraid to ask questions. After all, this might be your home and you have every right to make sure it’s in good condition.

One other point, make sure that you keep enough room in your monthly budget after your mortgage payment to start a savings account. It doesn’t have to be a lot but put some money away every month. You never know what the future holds and it doesn’t hurt to have a little back up plan financially.

Congratulations on your decision to become a first time home owner. You really couldn’t have picked a better time. Just listen to your head and not just your heart and you should be fine.

First Time Home Buyer Incentives – Yes They Exist

There are many first time home buyer incentives for you to take advantage of if you are considering buying your first home. Of course, all programs have their own eligibility requirements so it’s important you target only those programs for which you will qualify. Your best bet is to start with a search online. There are many government sites that will provide you with all the information you need.

Some of the most common programs available to assist the first time home buyer are: Fannie May, FHA loans, VA loans, and programs through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Each office will have it’s own unique requirements and programs.

For example, Fannie May ( programs will provide incentives for first time buyers such as low down payments, financing options for people with bad credit, no appraisal fees, and very flexible mortgage loan terms.

If you’ve got a blemished credit record and a low credit score, you may find that financing can still be had through the Federal Housing Administration. This can be really helpful if you’ve had a somewhat spotty work history or have a bankruptcy on your credit report. Even with so many strikes against you, you still may qualify for a FHA loan.

FHA requires only a minimal down payment. Currently it’s less than 4% down. Under FHA guidelines you can also borrow your down payment from friends or family. FHA are the only loans to allow for you to borrow money for a down payment.

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers mortgage help to active military personnel as well as retired military. The VA will guarantee up to 25% of the home loan amount which will help vets receive mortgages from their local bank or mortgage broker. To find out exactly what is available, go to:

The best thing you can do is to be proactive. Now is a great time to buy a home. With historically low interest rates, a glut of homes on the market, an unprecedented number of distressed homeowners, and many sources that are waiting and willing to lend a hand, now is a great time to jump into home ownership.

Be willing to invest some time to find what programs are just right for you. Make sure that you carefully check out what all the requirements are for any given program to see if you qualify.

Also, be careful that you only buy as much house as you can afford. That is part of the problem right now for many homeowners. The bank leant them
“X” amount of money so that is what they thought they could afford.

Unfortunately the bank doesn’t take into consideration the fact that you like to eat out a lot or that you want to take family vacations once a year. The point is, don’t think you have to go all the way up to your budget, you decide what monthly payment you will be comfortable with… and don’t budge from that amount.

With so many first time home buyer incentives now is a great time to buy your first home. Don’t be scared, just do your homework, set up a realistic budget (one that allows you to put money into a savings account every month) and find any programs that may help.

First Time Home Buyer Advice – Property Virgin

Want a little property virgin, first time home buyer advice? I’ve bought several homes throughout my life. The first time was a small little starter home and I sure wish someone had given me a little advice. I ended up grossly overpaying (I bought it from someone I knew and thought they were giving me a great deal, I didn’t do my homework and paid more than I should have).

Buying a home, whether it’s your first or your tenth, takes time. You have to be willing to invest the time you need to make a smart decision. This process is called due diligence. It means that you and only you have to make sure that the deal is a good deal for you.

You can’t just sit back and trust that the bank will watch out for you. Many homeowners are in trouble today for doing just that. They thought that since they got approved for a certain loan amount that that was the amount they could afford.

They never stopped to consider that the bank only looks at the numbers of their financial situation. With them it’s all black and white. They don’t know that you need a lot of extra money every month because you like to travel, or buy new shoes. Only you know that. Make sure you take those factors into consideration before you buy.

Another thing you have to do is have an inspection on any property before you buy it. I would recommend finding a good inspector on your own and not relying solely on the recommendations of your realtor. I hate to make it sound like you can’t trust your realtor, but like with any other profession, some are better than others.

If they are hungry for the sale they might suggest someone who could ‘fudge’ some details of the inspection. It’s not likely but to be safe, find your own inspector.

If a problem is found during inspection consider it without emotion. Too many homeowners throw common sense out the window because they have an emotional attachment to a property. Instead allow your business mind to click on. Sometimes a small problem can be a great bargaining chip. You may be able to get them to come down on the price (even more than just the cost of the repair) or they may make other concessions.

Even if your bank doesn’t make you escrow for your property taxes and insurance, you should do it anyway. It’s better to make sure you have the money when you need it. One of the houses I owned I didn’t escrow and I thought for sure that I could save the money. Well, you guessed it, when the bills came due I didn’t have it. I had to really scramble to make those payments. Never again. No matter what the bank may say, I’m going to escrow.

I hope you take this first time home buyer advice to heart. The best advice in the world won’t do you any good if you ignore it. When you pick out your home listen to your heart but when it comes to the financials of that home, listen only to your head.