Help for First Time Home Buyers

If you’re new to the home buying process, don’t worry. Progress Bank is here to help. We’ve collected some commonly asked questions to get you started. If you want to know more, call or visit a branch and speak to one of our mortgage professionals.

Is home ownership right for you?

Before you consider purchasing a home, you should think about whether home ownership is right for you. In some cases, it actually does make more sense to rent. Start with our Should I rent or buy? calculator and see what you find out.

How do get started as a first-time homebuyer?

As I first-time homebuyer, there are a few steps you should take in the beginning to understand your financial situation and set your expectations for the type of house you can afford.  

  1. Create a financial plan.
    1. Understand your credit needs and borrowing eligibility.
    2. Compare your income and expenses. Make sure you have enough to comfortably afford your mortgage payments.
    3. Check your credit history. If your credit needs work, make a plan to get it in shape before you start shopping for financing.
    4. Total the amount of your savings and other down payment sources.
  2. Estimate what you can spend.
    1. Use our mortgage calculators to estimate payments on various types of loans.
    2. Total the amount you will need for your down payment, closing costs and other expenses.
    3. If you have less than 20% to put down, you will need private mortgage insurance (PMI), a policy that protects the lender in case the borrower fails to pay.
  3. Determine when you’d like to buy your home.
    1. Set your timeline based on your available credit, cash flow and savings.

 

Think about where—and how—you live.

Country or city? Single family home or condo? Big yard with lots of gardening or a simple concrete patio? Think about all these things before you start shopping for a home. Then, narrow your search to homes in your price range that will fit the way you live.

Programs for First-Time Home Buyers

There are certain types of loans (such as an FHA loan) that have lower qualification requirements. However, these programs do come with some “strings” attached. Talk to a Progress Bank mortgage lender to see if you qualify for a first-time homebuyer program and ask plenty of questions to find out if such a loan is right for you.