If you've finally made the decision to purchase your first home, make sure your first stop includes a consultation with a mortgage broker.
"Typically when somebody is going home shopping, the first step for somebody is to see what they qualify for," says David Blackmon, a loan officer with North Pacific Financial Corporation.
Knowing what type of loan you qualify for can help narrow your search so you aren't looking for houses outside of your price range, he says. Getting preapproved will determine which loans first-time buyers qualify for. First-time home-loan options include:
-Government backed loan: Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, which allows buyers to pay a 3.5 percent down payment on their first home.
-Conventional loan: Fannie May and Freddie Mac lenders allows first-time buyers to pay 3 percent down.
-Portfolio loan: If you are purchasing a home that costs more than $417,000 dollars, then a jumbo loan would be a first-time home financing option.
In addition to traditional loan options, there are also state and national grant programs and subsidies available based on the demographics of a costumer, says Blackmon. Another option: "The Oregon Bond loan program provides tax-exempt revenue bonds to finance below-market- rate mortgage loans for qualified first-time homebuyers," Blackmon says.
Neighborhood Housing Services is another great option for a first-time homebuyer.
"Those grants or subsidies can help people who don't have enough saved up for a down payment," Blackmon says. Additional programs can provide funding for closing costs as well. Those are all factors mortgage brokers are looking for when first-time homebuyers are going through the prequalification process. Working with a broker helps look at a wide range of programs and options to ensure that first-time buyers are getting the best deal.
In Bend, the market-rate housing can be a problem for first-time buyers. "Affordability is the biggest issue that we see for first, second, and third time homebuyers; it's harder for people to qualify if prices are higher," Blackmon says. However when searching for a home, keep in mind that, as he says, "there's such a diversity of loan options—they can really help make even a large mortgage affordable."
56074 Snow Goose Rd., Bend, OR 97707
3 br, 1 ba, 912 sf, 0.57 acres
built 1993 | $139,900
Listed by Duke Warner Realty
21346 Livingston Dr., Bend, OR 97701
4 br, 3 ba, 2,211 sf, 0.10-acre lot
built 2006 | $325,000
Listed by Re/Max Key Properties
63950 Tyler Rd., Bend, OR 97701
3 br, 4 ba, 3,004 sf, 40 acres
built 1974 | $1,750,000
Listed by Cascade Sotheby's International Realty