You can qualify as a first-time homebuyer even if you have owned a home before. This means you may qualify for first-time homebuyer benefits and loans if you haven’t owned your principal residence for the last three years or more. These benefits include low or no down payment FHA loans, VA loans, USDA Loans, renovation loans and other programs for first-time homebuyers. According to the National Association of Realtors, the average age for first-time homebuyers is 32 years.
Real Estate Is a Good Investment
If you have the income and time to become a homeowner, you will have a good investment for your future. Buying a home is usually the biggest investment a person makes in his or her life. This is why you need a plan to enter the homeowner’s world with your eyes wide-open.
Things First-Time Buyers Should Consider
• Figure the cost of a home loan you can afford – If you don’t have an idea of how much house you can afford, you may waste time looking at houses you can’t afford or houses that are not up to your standards. In other words, don’t look at homes before you know much you are able to borrow.
• Check several lenders – You need to shop around to compare the fees, closing costs, interest rates and any discounts available. There are benefits for loans available for first time homebuyers.
• Check your credit report – There may be errors on your credit report that you can correct, which will raise your score and allow you to get better terms on a loan.
• Look for first-time homebuyer programs – Listed below are a few of the most popular benefits available to first-time buyers.
First-Time Homebuyer Benefits
• Forgivable loans and grants
• FHA loans for people with low credit scores
• VA loans form active or veteran military service
• USDA loans for 100% rural property
• Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for low down payment
• Assistance from your State Government
• Purchase and renovation loan
• Discounts for educators and first responders
• Foreclosed homes sold by the government
Tips for First-Time Homebuyers
After you have decided how much you can spend on a mortgage, make a list of non-negotiables that you need in a home, such as, two bathrooms, a covered patio or a two-car garage.
Talk to a realtor who knows the locality. You need to find out the asking prices of other houses in the neighborhood to determine if the one you like is overpriced. Then, you can make a reasonable offer.
Learn about closing costs from the realtor. You should also include moving costs, appraiser costs and real estate lawyer costs to validate the buyer-seller contract. Don’t worry about the realtor’s commission. That is paid by the seller.
Buying a home for the first time is not limited to age. Anyone who can afford it can buy a home and is considered a first-time buyer if they haven’t owned their home for at least three years.