Misconceptions of First Time Home Buying & First Time Mortgages

February 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Mortgage Updates

Buying your first home can be an exhilarating experience, but it can also be extremely stressful, especially if your mortgage company fails to keep you informed or help you through the buying process. Although the current housing market in Baltimore provides great opportunities for first-time home buyers–with FHA loans, tax credits, assistance for down payments and closing costs, and low interest rates–the numerous options associated with these opportunities can make first-time mortgages a confusing subject. Even as you take the first step of simply considering to purchase a home, we want to keep you informed, insuring that the mortgage process runs smoothly from start to finish. Some of the most important things to know up-front are the common misconceptions of first-time home buying.

Misconception #1: I can’t afford a home.

Income is certainly one of the factors that determines loan approval; however, that factor is primarily examined to determine that the first-time home owner will be able to make payments on the loan each month. In other words, Maryland mortgage companies are not concerned about whether a borrower is in the highest income bracket, but whether that borrower is seeking to live within his or her means. If you are “house hunting,” for example, searching for homes within a realistic budget should increase your chances of being approved for a loan. Keep in mind that you can usually deduct the interest and property taxes you pay on your home from your income taxes . In fact, the amount saved in taxes from owning a home often makes up some, if not all, of the difference in the cost of buying over renting. Buying beats renting in terms of establishing equity, as well: when you become a home owner, you typically build equity, meaning that the value of your home increases over time. Renting, on the other hand, only benefits the landlord.

In light of the recent extension of the first-time home buyer credit, there is even more incentive to purchase a home. Under the law, “an eligible taxpayer must buy, or enter into a binding contract to buy, a principal residence on or before April 30, 2010 and close on the home by June 30, 2010″ (according to the IRS website). Those who are eligible for the credit and purchase homes in 2010 can choose to claim the credit on their 2009 or 2010 tax return. For more information on the tax credit of up to $8,000 or ten percent of the purchase price, feel free to contact us. 

Misconception #2: I can’t buy a home because I don’t have a large down payment:

Perhaps because large down payments were required for loan approvals in the past, this misconception is often the most common. If you are considering a first home mortgage, you may be eligible to receive an FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan, the choice of many first-time home buyers because it typically only requires a minimum down payment of 3.5%. Under the recently announced FHA policy changes, FHA loan applicants must have a minimum FICO score (a specific type of credit score) of 580 to qualify for the 3.5% down payment. However, there are many loan options for first mortgages, and we will be glad to walk you through those options if you would like more information.

Misconception #3: My credit isn’t good enough to pursue a first home mortgage.

Even potential buyers with the worst credit situations have to start somewhere, though first-time buyers with better credit scores will typically be presented with more options, lower interest rates and lower down payments. If you are considering applying for a loan and are concerned about your credit score, feel free to contact us with questions regarding your unique situation. We will gladly help you find the best  loan option for you.

  • Winsor Pilates

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