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Are you a 1st time home buyer?

Buying a home for the first time can be very stressful. Making such a big long term financial commitment and all the unknowns of the process will take it’s toll on even the toughest of us. The good news is that you don’t have to have a huge down payment to become a home owner.  There are a lot of programs out there that offer first time home buyers financing with just a 3% down payment.

The lender is taking a chance on you lending with such a low down payment and they need to insure that risk.  Thus, anytime you put down less than 20%, you’ll have what is know in the industry as mortgage insurance or PMI.  The rate of the mortgage insurance is determined by a number of factors such as credit worthiness, down payment and loan programs.  For example, you could apply for an FHA loan that is a government insured loan and a loan offered by a private lender with the same exact guidelines / rates and have two different PMI rates.  The best strategy for choosing the right program is to ask your lender for a comparison breakdown of both private and government insured loans.

Things to consider as a first time home buyer:

  • When budgeting and calculating how much you can afford, don’t forget to take into account property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, association fees and additional fees that may be tied to the property.
  • Shop smart and ask for comparisons. Review multiple options and select the loan that’s right for you. No one loan is perfect for everyone.  For example, you could qualify for a 80-10-10 loan (80% first mortgage, 10% second mortgage and 10% down payment) which doesn’t have a PMI and your total payment would most likely be around the same as a loan with PMI. In this case the interest on the 2nd mortgage is tax deductible which could be a great benefit.
  • If you have VA benefits take a look at the VA loans.  Sometimes they have favorable terms and lower fees.
  • Be sure to ask about first time home buyer specials.

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