If you’ve never bought a home before there are a wide range of first-time home buyer mortgage options available to help you get the keys to your first home. Depending on the funding program you choose as a first-time home buyer, different qualifications will need to be met.
Can You Qualify for a First-Time Buyer Mortgage?
When you’re ready to buy your first home it will be worth the effort to do some research to find the best first-time home buyer program for your specific situation. There are federally supported programs through the FHA, the VA and Fannie Mae for example, as well as state programs such as the New Jersey First-Time Home Buyer Program.
But what if you’ve owned a home in the past but have since sold it and weren’t in a position to buy a new home right away? Can you qualify for a first-time mortgage? Whatever the reason, if you owned a home in the past but currently don’t, you could qualify for a first-time mortgage. This applies even if you had previously bought a home through such a program. The key is how much time has passed since you last had such a mortgage.
As outlined by the FHA, so long as an applicant for a first-time mortgage has not owned their primary residence for at least 3 years prior to seeking a loan, they are considered a first-time home buyer and can seek out these types of loans and programs.
There are additional parameters to meet in order to qualify for a first-time mortgage however, which will depend on which loan program you choose. Within the various programs available there will be income maximums, credit score minimums, job history minimums, and possibly down payment minimums.
Good Credit Score and Down Payment
Two of the toughest challenges to meet for many first-time home buyers are having a good credit score and acquiring the minimum down payment, but there’s no need to despair if this happens to be your situation. While it’s best to do what you can to improve your credit score, there are loan options available for those with less than ideal credit; they just come with a higher interest rate to help balance the risk ratio for the lender. The FHA is the prime source for low-credit buyers seeking a mortgage.
If you don’t have the money saved for a down payment there are different grants and programs which if you qualify, can provide part or all of your down payment monies. Here in New Jersey we have an excellent opportunity through The Road Home, an NJHMFA Down Payment Assistance Program. Qualifying first-time home buyers who get an NJHFMA First Mortgage Loan can get a $10,000 grant to put down towards a home.
When it’s time to buy a home, work with a Realtor® whose expertise can help you find solutions whatever your real estate needs may be. Get the conversation started with Matt Haviland, give him a call today at 609-338-3773 or send him an e-mail. The Haviland Group and Keller Williams Realty are ready to share their expertise and care for all your real estate needs.
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