AFTHA’s Guide to Buy Your First Home — Part I

The comprehensive map to start, enjoy and close your home buying journey.

Let me acknowledge something for you, those emotions you are getting aren’t strange, in fact, they are pretty common among first-time homebuyers; here at AFTHA we know many of them. Our passion is to help these hard-working families, get the house they’ve always been dreaming of, and to be able to succeed in that, is just a truly exciting adventure.

Of course, there will be many challenges ahead, in regards to how much money can you save, how much time do we have before finally deciding, and more. This is a very fast industry, that’s constantly evolving, relentless and scary at times. But the real beauty of it, lies in the smile of young Americans, seeing their first home and realizing they are going to build lovely memories.

For starters, we need to be as clear as possible, about why we want to buy that first home, whether it is for financial or emotional stability, to rent it, or to sell it after. This is the most important step of all, because it defines your real ambitions behind every effort, it’ll help your realtor come with better solutions, and your plan will get clearer and clearer once you start executing it.  

Credit Scores Can Define Your Experience

This is no lie, you must know that through your financial rating, most lending institutions can predict, grasp or determine, if you’ll be able to repay any debt. Every bank or bureau has its own procedures, but the idea remains the same. Checking your credit score can provide a better view of your whole scenario, in order to know the interest rates you are about to get

The three major US agencies behind all this framework are: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Ask if your bank can deliver any access to this information, that way you’ll be allowed to report any discrepancy, avoiding any hurdles. 

Budgets Will be Crucial

Don’t go chasing waterfalls, a famous 90’s song once said. In other words, stay true to your limitations, those will help you accomplish your goals faster. Same applies to any real estate endeavour, why go after a property you won’t be able to pay? That makes no sense. Understand that you are going to be facing monthly payments that need to be sustained in the long-run.

Aside from that, you need to save money for any repair or emergency maintenance. That first home won’t come easy, always be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Closing costs are another point that needs to be checked, those can include lawyer, realtor, referral fees or any taxes involved. To increase your chances of success, get pre-approval for any mortgage, in order to know how affordable is your dream, realistically speaking.

Most experts suggest to save 20 percent of the overall amount, those will be used for down payment (DP) purposes. But if you cannot reach that exact sum, there’s always an option. For example, some government programs do not require that mentioned requirement (down payment), such loans come from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and many others.

The not-so-tricky difference between both approaches is really simple, by paying low margin DPs, you can get into that first home faster. On the other hand, choosing plans with higher DPs will lower the costs. Here at AFTHA, we help hundreds of families like yours, understanding their doubts and clearing their path to homeownership. Want to know how? Give us a call: (833) 478-1396, or write to, our team is ready to help!

This is the first part of three, stay tuned for the coming pieces. 

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