Many first time buyers lived through the recession as teenagers. They remember the scary stories of people losing homes and inadequate downpayments contributing to the problems.
We are on more stable ground right now, economically. Lenders are doing a good job of evaluating buyers and the checks and balances in place mean that the loans that they make are, generally, more sound.
So if you are a first time buyer, what is keeping you from moving forward?
While it is easy to 'do your research' online, a lot of that information is incorrect. Most of that misinformation is about how much of a down payment you need or what your credit score needs to be. Let's go over the real facts about buying a home and knock those myths out, so they don't hinder your ability to purchase!
Though it may come as a surprise, you don't need a perfect credit score to purchase a home. Traditional bank lenders will work with credit scores as low as 640, but your agent can also get you connected with local lenders that accept credit scores as low as 580. Although there are other required stipulations to qualify for the loan, you don't need a perfect score in the 700's or 800's to get approved for a mortgage. Picking an on-line lender seems like the easiest path to home ownership, but working with a brick and mortar lender who will answer your phone calls and give you solid, tested advice is a much better way to go.
You don't have to sell an arm and a leg to be able to purchase your dream house. There is a huge misconception that you need to pay a minimum of 20% down to buy. That information is outdated. These days, there a large variety of loan programs that only need an average of 3-5% down. Based on your income or military status, you may even qualify for mortgage programs that require 0% down. Although you'll expect to pay an additional 3% in closing costs, which is separate from the down payment, this is still significantly less that 20% of the purchase price. If you're in a buyer's market, you may even be able to negotiate for some, or a big chunk, of the closing costs to be covered by the sellers (the closing costs are different than the downpayment, but all are due at closing).
A local real estate agent will help you find a lender that understands your market, the lending rules, and the how to get you into your first home. Don't let online myths persuade you into thinking you can't qualify or afford to buy a home. There are a variety of programs to help you buy your dream house. Since these vary county to county, and state to state, it's imperative to call your agent and let them help you get started with the process.