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First Time Home Buying 101

Each month, we offer a class for first-time homebuyers in Massachusetts. During the class, we take you through the entire home buying process from beginning to end. You will receive expert advice on everything you need to know from trusted real estate professionals as we take you through each step of the process.

first time home buying 101


Classes designated as Boston Home Center classes are classes for City of Boston residents, although anyone can register for those classes. These classes will include presentations and information on Boston-specific homebuying programs in addition to the standard content that is presented in all Homebuying 101 classes. Cost for Boston Home Center classes are $30 for City of Boston residents and $45 for non-City of Boston residents.

The rule of thumb is to aim for a home that costs about two-and-a-half times your gross annual salary. If you have significant credit card debt or other financial obligations like alimony or even an expensive hobby, then you may need to set your sights lower.

If your available cash doesn't cover your needs, you have several options. First-time homebuyers can withdraw up to $10,000 without penalty from an Individual Retirement Account, if you have one, though you must pay taxes on the amount. You can also receive a cash gift of up to $15,000 a year from each of your parents without triggering a gift tax.

You need an "exclusive buyer agent." Sometimes buyer agents are paid directly by you, on an hourly or contracted fee. Other times they split the commission that the seller's agent gets upon sale. A buyer's representative has the same access to homes for sale that a seller's agent does, but his or her allegiance is supposed to be only to you.

5. Search for a home. Your first step here is to figure out what city or neighborhood you want to live in. Look for signs of economic vitality: a mixture of young families and older couples, low unemployment and good incomes.

Pay special attention to districts with good schools, even if you don't have school-age children. When it comes time to sell, you'll find that a strong school system is a major advantage in helping your home retain or gain value.

Are you looking to buy a home this year? The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency has the resources you need to make a home purchase this year and to help you become a successful long-term homeowner. Get the 411 on home buying 101 below!

When looking for a new place to live, the first question you ask yourself will help drive the rest of your decision-making. Should you rent or buy? Buying may seem appealing because you will put an end to escalating rent and can build equity. But the reality of routine home maintenance and repairs can quickly drain a bank account.

You can find homes for sale on your own, but a good broker can help you make sound decisions and guide you through the home buying process. A broker can also help you get access to homes as soon as they hit the market, before they may be listed online.

Understand that making an offer on a home is sometimes the start of a psychological game. You likely want to get the home for as little as you can without losing the house outright. The seller wants to maximize the selling price of the home without scaring you away. Where should you start with your first offer? Conventional wisdom says to begin at 5 percent below the asking price, but market conditions will largely determine how much wiggle room you have. The more competitive the market, the more likely you are to face multiple bidders. In a soft market, where listings have been sitting unsold, you will have more negotiating power. In a rising market, prime listings will command the full asking price or more, and sometimes offering just a few thousand dollars above listing price can help your offer stand out. Either way, keep your budget in mind when you make your first offer and set a cap of how high you are truly willing to go.

Many people go through a big part of their lives without buying something as large as a car or a home. They may not feel the need to own something new and simply rent a home or apartment and own a used car for years.

However, life changes. Marriages, children, or new jobs may make owning a new home more attractive, or more sensible. A relocation could also create the desire for a new home, or there might be a time when homeownership and the freedom to decorate, change, upgrade, or personalize may become more important.

Many first time home buyers feel a little anxiety when approaching the home buying process. After all, there are a lot of moving parts. Choosing a location, selecting a home, financing the purchase, and going through the building process can seem like an overwhelming set of tasks.

PMI can also be a valuable tool for buyers who have less than 20% to put down on a home. In the examples below, the numbers are estimated at the time of the article and may change. However, these are good examples of how PMI can help buyers afford a home even when they have less than 20% to put down.

Understanding what you can afford can make all the difference in the home buying process. Consider requesting a pre-approval from a bank you know and trust. Pre-approval will help you set your budget and ensure your agent or broker finds properties within your budget.

When do I need to bring a lawyer into the process?If you choose to have a lawyer assist with your home buying process, you can bring them in to help with the Agreement of Sale. Once you have the agreement, you can also choose to have your attorney review it.

We offer a variety of mortgages for buying a new home or refinancing your existing one. New to homebuying? Our Learning Center provides easy-to-use mortgage calculators, educational articles and more. And from applying for a loan to managing your mortgage, Chase MyHome has everything you need.

Whether you're determining how much house you can afford, estimating your monthly payment with our mortgage calculator or looking to prequalify for a mortgage, we can help you at any part of the home buying process. See our current mortgage rates, low down payment options, and jumbo mortgage loans.

The early first step being a first time home buyer is not getting pre-qualified with a lender. Actually, you must start a few years back with getting your finances in order. Making sure your credit is as good as you can get it and reducing your debt as much as you can while at the same time saving for a down payment. Then you can start getting ready to get your paycheck stubs, tax returns and bank statements in order for your visit to a lender. Then you are ready for the first step to being a homeowner.

The homebuyer education schedule below contains pre-purchase and post-purchase courses for first-time homebuyers offered by agencies with a Seal of Approval from the Massachusetts Homeownership Collaborative. Please note that CHAPA does not host any of these courses; after clicking on the course you want below, the agency listed is the host you should contact with any questions. If you have any concerns about the quality of the homebuyer education you received, or have reason to believe one of these organizations is not adhering to the Collaborative's Code of Ethics, please contact us at 617-690-8848 or Your name will be kept strictly confidential.

People interested in buying a home are often overwhelmed with all the information they need to know about the process. To save time and money, you need a basic overview of home finance options.

Between the current economic environment and housing market trends, this could be a great time to take the leap from renter to homeowner. Read on to find out how you can make this year your home buying year.

Becoming a homeowner is the quintessential American dream. Yet, many Florida first-time homebuyers tell us they are holding off on achieving their dream because of concerns about making a down payment. If a down payment is the final piece of the puzzle in achieving your new home dreams, we have good news!

First, the "need" to have a large sum of money for a down payment is a common misconception. There are mortgage programs available for first-time home buyers and military veterans that require 0% down. And, FHA home loans require a down payment of just 3.5% of the purchase price, making them an ideal option for both first-time and repeat homebuyers who have little cash saved for a down payment. 041b061a72


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