How To Buy Your First Home

Resource List

According to the National Association of Realtors 2018 survey, 33% of all home buyers are First Time Home Buyers.  It’s your turn!

  1. Download the Fannie Mae HOME App to begin your journey as a first time home buyer to HOME OWNERSHIP!  This App will walk you through all of the important steps when considering a home purchase including a mortgage calculator, budgeting tools and how to set up a savings plan for a down payment.
  2. Check out this great resource called Power Pay to manage and pay off debt faster also available as an iPhone App.
  3. Read this article to learn how different types of credit affect your credit score.
  4. Read this article to learn how to improve your credit score before you buy a home.
  5. Learn about special programs for first time home buyers in Virginia from Virginia’s Housing Development Authority (VHDA).
  6. Consider attending a First Time Home Buyer Seminar.
  7. Make arrangements to speak to a few mortgage lenders and don’t forget about your local banks and credit unions.
  8. Good article on the basics of making an offer on your first home.

Additional Resource from National Association of Realtors Home Buyer’s Guide

VHDA Loan Combo

Source VHDA

Homes for Sale - Could one of these be your first home?

List of homes for sale in Culpeper, VA under $275,000

The Home Search Process

Some tips and tricks to help you buy your first home

Pick a home search platform that is easy to use and you’ll be on your way to buying your first home.  One of my favorites is Homesnap!  It’s a fast and accurate way to view homes for sale and get estimates of those not for sale, mark favorites to refer back to later and share with others.  Homesnap works on phone, tablet and computer and has homes listed throughout most of the US.  You can receive weekly updates if you’re shopping in a particular price range or area and be the first to know about a listing.  You can also search for homes by school district or commuting radius.  It also shows you the property boundary lines.

Spend some time going to open houses in your price range to get an idea of what homes with the characteristics you’re looking for might cost.  You can search on Homesnap by “Open House”.

While using a search platform, be sure to keep an eye out for how long homes are staying on the market in your area.  This will give you additional information so that when you are ready to buy, you’ll have a good idea of how quickly you might have to act if you find the home of your dreams.

Real Estate Listing Terms

Half bath – only a sink and toilet/commode

LR – living room

DR – dining room

HOC – Home of Choice

Cul de Sac – street that has no outlet and usually a round shape

HOA – Home Owners Association (almost all charge dues which are required to purchase in the neighborhood)

Covenants – written rules and agreements for use of land/property

Rambler/Rancher – usually a one story home

Colonial – usually a two story home

Short Sale – when the property owner owes more on the mortgage, than the market value of the property and is asking the bank to accept a short payoff of the loan

Foreclosure –  means the property lender has taken back the property for lack of payment. (Article which explains short sale, pre-foreclosure and foreclosure)

Contingent – A contingent status means that the seller has accepted an offer and the home is under contract.  The sale is subject to, or conditioned upon, certain criteria being met by the buyer and/or seller before the deal can close. Examples of contingencies are home inspections, attorney review, the buyer’s financing, appraisal, and title search, among other reasons.

For an exhaustive Glossary of Real Estate Terms, check out this amazing resource from Century 21!