What help is available for buying a home?

Home buying help comes in many forms. First-time home buyers can increase their odds of successfully completing the transaction by taking a little advice:

1 Deal with a reputable real estate agent

Real estate is a complex transaction where a mistake can literally cost you thousands upon thousands of dollars. Take time to find an agent that will answer your questions and work with you. Use the real estate agent locater to find an agent that specializes in the location you are considering purchasing.

2 Get pre-qualified

Avoid unpleasant credit surprises and find out what you will be able to afford. Don’t automatically assume you can afford what the bank will approve you for … that’s the maximum. Instead, take your own situation into account when deciding what you can comfortably afford for the long term. For instance, if you are planning to start a family in the next several years and would like for one spouse to have the option of remaining home with the children, set a spending limit likely to allow that.

3 Seek help from a professional

Ask a real estate agent about local first time home-buyer programs in your area or search for information online. There are federal, state and local programs available in different areas that are specifically designated for first-time homebuyers. Some assist with the down payment where others allow you to help build the home in exchange for a reduction in price. Still others have special low interest rates for first-time home buyers.

Shopping for a house? Find a local realty expert who can help or search our real estate listings.