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PA: Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware

Home Buying
New Jersey |
Pennsylvania Realty
80 Barclay Center Suite 4A
Cherry Hill, NJ 856-488-8444
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First Time Home Buyer? Relocating?

by Paul Howard
National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents
Today Show Interview (video)

This is an exclusively for buyers office - and our agents are Exclusive Buyer Agents!

Purchase Financing

All home buyers know that they will need to provide documentation to show that they qualify for a home purchase to their agent. They should also know that the agent will have to provide that documentation to the seller at the time an offer is made. If they don't - the seller is unlikely to even consider the offer. The seller's agent will help them evaluate the offer - and the documentation submitted to back it up. They will be more comfortable with documentation that comes from a lender they (or at least your agent) are familiar with and that has experience with the type of loan involved in the area in which the purchase will take place.

Down Payment

To avoid the additional cost of private mortgage insurance (PMI) for most mortgage types you need to put 20% down. Many buyers haven't saved that much though so they put down what they can and sometimes ask the seller for closing cost assistance to help they retain some liquid funds available after settlement.

There are a few programs available (if you meet the requirements) that don't require a down payment and don't require private mortgage insurance.

Financing Options

FHA 203b
FHA 203k - a rehab loan
Jumbo for 'large' loans. "large" depends on the area.
There are many others.

First Time Buyer Programs

They are often called "First Time Buyer" programs but they are not just for first time buyers. Also, "first time" doesn't really mean first time. These programs, offered by some government entities, some mortgage lenders, and sometimes organizations are almost always subject to income limits. While not restricted to low income individuals they are definitely not generally available for upper income buyers.

Mortgage Lenders

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is a major first time buyer program offered by some lenders in designated areas. There are income limits but the rates are competitive and the loans do not require PMI - Private Mortgage Insurance.

Most (or all) "First Time Buyer" programs require pre-purchase counseling. I recommend that you contact to discuss preparations for financing your purchase.

Read your contract

Unless you are paying cash for your home you should ensure that your contract is contingent on you receiving the financing needed for the purchase.