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How To Qualify As A First Time Home Buyer

If you are buying a home for the first time, you may be a bit intimidated by the mortgage process. However, it is easier than it sounds, especially when you are able to qualify for first time home buyer assistance. To qualify as a first time home buyer, you need to be buying a home for the first time or you need to have been renting for at least three years. In some other cases, you may be eligible as a first time home buyer, so you should always ask about first time home buyer government programs.

Qualifying as a First Time Home Buyer

Learning how to qualify as a first time home buyer is easier than you might think. The only extra steps you have is to find out which programs are available for you. Your real estate agent is able to help you with applying for the programs.

Before you start looking for a home or even before you look into first time home buyer programs, you need to find out what your credit is. Even if your credit is not stellar, first time home buyer credit qualifications make it easy to qualify. First, check your credit score at one of the free sites: Credit Karma or WalletHub. Be sure to pull reports from all three credit reporting agencies.

Once you get your credit report, check it for errors. Dispute any errors, including inaccurate identifying information, incorrect employers, inaccurate payment information and accounts that should not be on your credit report. Do not apply for credit until you are ready to apply for a home loan as it lowers your credit every time you apply. Start paying off debt, especially credit card debt, to lower your debt to income ratio.

Qualifying for a Mortgage With Bad Credit

If you are a bad credit first time home buyer, you are still able to qualify for a home loan if you qualify for an FHA loan. If your credit score is 580 or higher, you will need a 3.5 percent down payment. If your credit score is lower than 580, you will need a 10 percent down payment. Other programs also exist to help with mortgages, including VA loans for veterans. The first time home buyer down payment for other loans may vary, depending on your qualifications.

More First Time Home Buyer Tips

To make the process easier, take these steps before you start looking for a home:

  • Get preapproved for a home loan. This will help you determine how much mortgage you will be able to afford and shows sellers you are serious and not just “kicking tires.”
  • Check to see if you qualify for an FHA loan, VA loan or other government loans. These loans help first time home buyers get lower interest rates.
  • Know how much down payment you have and what your down payment options are.
  • Hire a real estate agent from On Point Carolinas Realty.
  • Know what out-of-pocket costs you will be responsible for and budget for them. These costs may include an appraisal, home inspection and survey.
  • Know what your debt-to-income ratio is. Keep paying off debt until it is low enough to qualify for a mortgage.
  • Look for other first time home buyer programs and grants.
  • Know what types of loans are available. Not all loans are the same. Interest rates will vary on different types of loans.

Visit North Carolina’s HUD page to find state programs for first-time buyers and learn how to apply first time home buyer grant. Contact On Point Carolinas Realty when you are ready to start searching for a new home or if you have any questions regarding buying your first home.

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About The Author
Gus Testa

Gus Testa, Top Realtor with On Point Carolinas Realty, LLC, has been in real estate sales and management since 1977. In 1993, after leaving family, friends and his owned real estate franchise firm behind, he and his wife Beth made the decision to “head South” with their 2 sons. Since that time there has been no looking back. Gus immediately began working for a local and well respected new home builder, building beautiful neighborhoods in and around the Charlotte area. In his first year of new home sales he was awarded “Rookie of the Year” for the highest volume of sales for the company. Then in 2002, it was time to move on and Gus joined major developer Crescent Resources as one of their Residential Sales Associates. From 2002 through 2012, Gus along with his business partner Kim McBee, continually sold several million dollars in volume and became very familiar with the movers and shakers in the Real Estate industry in and around the Lake Norman area, the Charlotte area and the Northern most portions of South Carolina. In 2013 Gus and Kim partnered with a local developer to open On Point Carolinas Realty, LLC; a full service real estate company, listing and selling new and re-sale homes and home sites. Gus holds licenses in both North and South Carolina.

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