Tips can help first-time, low-income homebuyers


I get asked a lot by first-time homebuyers for some tips on how to get approved for a loan and processes that they should take to qualify. I found this interesting article that gives you some great tips on how low-income, first-time buyers can get a home in this market. Read about it below here:

Watch Your Credit:

Watch your credit. Pull your credit report annually and work with credit reporting agencies to have erroneous information removed. Pay creditors on time and don’t open many large accounts, or pull your credit report often within 120 days of applying for a mortgage, which can lower credit scores and indicate that a borrower is having challenges managing his finances.

Employment History:

Establish a solid employment history. While a borrower’s income/employment standing is analyzed to determine his ability to repay the mortgage loan obligation, and frequent job changes and short-term employment typically are viewed as weaknesses, documented changes that result in higher-paying positions can be a positive

Amass Assets:

Amass assets. Many lenders offer First Time Homebuyer programs that minimize the assets needed for a down payment, closing costs and reserves. Talk with a local lender about which programs best fit your situation. Three great First Time Homebuyer programs I often recommend for their low/no interest rate schedules and/or asset-building advantages are State of New York Mortgage Agency’s (SONYMA) “Achieving the Dream,” SONYMA’s Down Payment Assistance Loan (DPAL) and the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York’s “First Home Club”. (Check with your state, each state has their own unique programs for low income and first-time buyers).

Determine what you can afford in a home

Create a realist budget. Calculate your everyday expenses such as groceries, car payments, credit cards and installment loans, along with entertainment and emergency costs. Then add home ownership expenses, such as electric bills, cable, natural gas or heating oil, public water, sewer fees, homeowners insurance, rubbish removal and internet service. If needed call utility providers for anticipated fees/charges.

Make regular deposits.

Once your budget is set, deposit the portion of income you allotted to your household expenses into an account to help determine if the budget is realistic.

Make the right decisions for your situation

Decide what you want and need in a home. Don’t get caught up in a home’s decorations or the property’s landscape. Focus on your “must have” list, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need.

Consider the house style and its location. For instance, if a family member has physical limitations, multi-level living may not work. Assess the property’s upkeep or whether a condominium or cooperative unit, where maintenance is managed by a homeowner association, might be a better fit. Look at your commute to work and amenities.

Educate Yourself

Educate yourself. Most municipalities offer homebuyer-education programs, from escrowing taxes and insurance, to home maintenance, credit repair, first-time homebuyer programs/incentives/grants and mortgage financing. Talk with a reputable realtor for market insight and a mortgage lender for mortgage options and pre-qualification or pre-approval programs.

By taking steps to prepare for homeownership early on, first-time and low-income homebuyers can position themselves for a financially smart and stable purchase of their home.

I work with many first-time buyers and have a vast amount of information on loan programs. Please contact me today so we can work together and get you into your first home together!

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