|FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS QUESTIONS
1. How much home can I afford?
The answer to this has a lot to do with your income and the amount of your debt load. As a
rough rule of thumb, most home buyers purchase houses that cost between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2
times their annual income.
2. Do you know how much you will need for a down payment?
Being pre-qualified can also help to determine this amount and the type of loan that will work
best for you.
3. Can I qualify for a loan?
The ability to qualify for a mortgage loan is based on work history, credit history and income.
We believe that anyone can qualify for a mortgage loan with time and planning.
4. Are there any programs for first time home buyers?
A "First Time Home Buyer" means that you have not had a home in your name for the past
three years. There are many programs that target the first time home buyer, but the
guidelines for qualifying for those programs are the same as for any other buyer.
5. Can I qualify on my own if my spouse's credit is bad?
Yes, this is called "Non-Purchasing Spouse" and the loan amount is based on your income
6. How do I know if I am getting a good deal on a mortgage?
In a word: Compare. There is a good deal of variation in the mortgage market, not only from
week to week, but from lender to lender.Our experienced counselors will assist you in finding
the best rate, program and lender for your individual wants and needs.
7. My credit score is questionable; can I still qualify for a new home?
When we look at mortgage in relation to credit, the object is "history" rather than scores.
Credit can come in many different ways other than what is or is not on a traditional credit
report. Credit repair has become an undesirable term often associated with unrealistic
expectations and empty promises.
8 .I'm recently divorced; can I still qualify?
Yes, the divorce simply means that the loan amount will be based on your income alone,
rather than the duel income of the marriage.
9. How do I get approved for a mortgage loan?
This is an excellent question for a first-time home buyer to ask. A better question would be:
How do I get pre-approved for a loan? When buying a house, it's wise to speak with a lender
before you start the house-hunting process.
10. Have you really determined what type of house you want?
Most people have a vague idea, but are not really sure. A good exercise to help you
determine your ‘must haves’ and your ‘wants’ is to list out all of the things you think will make
you happy in your new home. Put your ‘must haves’ and your ‘wants’ in separate columns.
Once done, review the list and decide on the top five or six things that you must have in
order write an offer on your dream home. Stick to those top things when you are evaluating
11. Have you been pre-qualified for a loan amount?
Knowing that amount will help you determine how much home you can afford and which
neighborhoods fit into your price range.
12. Did you know there are different types of loans available?
The most common are conventional, FHA and VA, but there are various other options
13. Do you know about closing fees?
The majority of the closing costs are a combination of fees that are charged by the loan
agency, the settlement company and other fees that combine to determine how much money
you need to bring with you to the settlement table.The amount of closing costs will depend on
what items are customary for buyers and sellers to pay for in your area. Traditions vary
greatly from one area of the country to another
14. Should you use an Agent to buy a house?
Probably, for two reasons. First, in virtually all situations, the buyer does not pay a
commission, so the services of an Agent working for you are paid for by the seller.
15. What First Time Buyer Programs are available?
There are literally hundreds of different programs available, depending on your location (city,
state, or province) and the mortgage source that you use. The requirements and benefits
vary greatly from program to program. Consult your Agent or your local housing authority for
16. How much should I offer for a house?
There is no simple answer to that question, since each property stands on its own. A
particular house may be overpriced (you should make an offer BELOW the listing price), "on-
the-money" (you should make an offer at or just below the listing price) or underpriced (you
should grab it before someone else does!) For more information, see the section devoted to
setting a value on a home
17. How old are the major mechanicals?
These include the furnace, water heater and central air conditioner. Even if the sellers offer
a home warranty, ask. Replacing a water heater or furnace can cost thousands. This
information becomes very valuable when negotiating a purchase price.
18. Is the roof in good repair?
An old, leaky roof can quickly ruin an otherwise pristine home and replacing a typical asphalt
shingle roof costs thousands of dollars. Harsh climates and unrepaired hail damage can
shorten a roof’s lifespan as well. If unsure, a qualified inspector can accurately evaluate the
20. How much are utilities?
It is very common to ask sellers for their average monthly electrical, gas and water bill.
Budgeting for utility costs can be a determining factor when choosing one home over another.
21. Is there a Property Owners Association (POA)?
If so, what dues and covenants apply? What are the rules for structure modification or
additions? Is RV and boat parking allowed? Can you run a home based business? Learn the
rules and regulations before you buy.
22. Are there any pending assessments?
If there are any public works improvements planned that affect real estate taxes, like sidewalk
additions, find out up front.
23. Who are the neighbors?
Houses next to noisy businesses and apartment buildings or townhouses are less desirable
than comparable homes in established, single-family home neighborhoods. If there is nothing
obvious, ask the neighbors if they have any complaints about the area. You’ll likely get a
more honest answer from people who have no stake in the real estate deal.
24. What are the comps?
Ask your Realtor for a list of similar home listings and recent home sales in the area.
Knowing a home’s true market value is a great negotiating tool.
25. Are there any schools or daycare centers close by?
Are they convenient to your work commute? If picking up the kids from daycare and school
require trips in opposite directions, it may get old fast. Plan daily routines and consider how
much driving you’re willing to do.
26. Are there doctors’ offices and hospitals nearby?
This can be an important consideration for parents of small
children or for the elderly.