Lauren Davis
REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West | 508-254-0449 | [email protected]


Posted by Lauren Davis on 4/7/2021

Image by Aline Oliveira from Pixabay

If you've been dreaming of buying a home or have started looking at houses and mortgages, you've likely seen ads and information that directly targets the first time home buyer. Buying your first home is a significant milestone and one of the most financially beneficial things you'll ever do, and there are some mortgage programs designed to help first time buyers succeed in this life changing endeavor. If you're buying a home for the first time, you should know what programs and perks are available to you so you can strike the best possible deal. Even someone who has purchased a home in the past (but is now a renter) may be able to qualify for some of these plans. 

What is a First Time Home Buyer?

On the surface, its simple -- a first time buyer is one who has never owned a home or had a mortgage. For some programs, though, a first time buyer can also be someone who has not owned a primary residence in the past three years. If you fit either of these categories, you should check out the programs offered for this increasingly large group of buyers. 

Programs for First Time Buyers

First Time Buyer Mortgage Perks: Just about every mortgage company now offers some kind of perk or benefit for first time buyers; talk to your real estate agent to learn more about your options as you shop for your home. FHA, VA and USDA loans are particularly good for first time buyers, since they offer low down payments and more relaxed credit requirements. 

Grants: The Federal government and both state and local governments offer first time buyers assistance in the form of grants. The idea behind these grants is to bolster the buyer's ability to make a purchase, often by helping them out with a downpayment. Grants vary by location and do not have to be paid back; they are designed to help first time buyers get past one of the big barriers to ownership -- that 10 or even 20% downpayment. New Jersey has a grant program for first time home buyers; this plan is replicated by most other states as well. Search your state or city name and "first time home buyer grants" to learn more -- or better yet, work with an experienced real estate agent and get the scoop directly from them. 

Good Neighbor Next Door: This plan can help you save up to 50% of the purchase price of a home if you are a civil servant - police officers, firefighters, teachers and others who serve the community can benefit from this national program, with details seen here.   Because of the nature of the loan, most borrowers are first timers and can purchase homes they would otherwise be unable to afford. 

HomePath: Fannie Mae offers this program for first time buyers; it can save you up to 3% on your closing costs. You'll need to attend a class, must be a true first time buyer and purchase a qualifying property to save. Other perks include a first look at foreclosed properties as they arrive on the market, making this an ideal program for areas with a lot of competition for buyers. 

First Time Buyers Can Find Big Savings

The time to learn about first time home buyer benefits is now -- before you make a purchase. Once you have a mortgage, you no longer qualify and you could miss out on some substantial savings. Get in touch today if you are buying your first home -- we can help ensure you know about all the ways you can benefit and help walk you through the ownership process, every step of the way. 




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lauren Davis on 10/3/2018

While buying a home is a huge decision that should entail a lot of planning and preparation, applying for a mortgage can be surprisingly easy. Just like with other lenders and creditors, a mortgage lender will want to know that letting you borrow money will be a safe investment. Applying for a mortgage is all about ensuring just that.

In today’s post, we’re going to breakdown the home loan application process to help you have the best chances at a smooth and successful mortgage approval. We’ll also define some of the common terms used in mortgages that might leave you scratching your head so you have a better idea of what your options are.

Prequalification and Preapproval

Getting prequalified and preapproved for a mortgaged can both be helpful steps toward securing your home loan. The two terms mean two entirely different things, however.

In order to be prequalified for a mortgage, you typically need to only fill out a simple form (sometimes directly through a lender’s website). On this form, you won’t need to provide specifics or official documents.

Why is this process so simple? Well, that’s because getting prequalified for a loan doesn’t ensure that you’ll actually receive one. Rather, it is simply the first step toward finding out what type of mortgage and interest rates you could receive.

The next step after prequalification is preapproval. To get preapproved, you’ll have to fill out an official mortgage application. Your lender of choice will request a few pieces of information from you, including tax returns, proof of employment for the last two years, and a list of your debts. The lender will also perform a credit check to determine your loan eligibility.

Credit report

At this phase, lenders will also run your credit report. This is a type of “hard credit inquiry” that details your payment history, the number of accounts you have open, and other factors that help make up your credit score.

To secure the lowest interest rate possible, it helps to have a high credit score. So, in the years and months leading up to your mortgage application, focusing on building credit will pay off.

To increase your credit score, you’ll need to focus on paying your bills on time each month. You should also avoid opening new accounts within a few months of applying for a mortgage because this will count as a new credit inquiry. New credit inquiries--including applying for a mortgage--lower your score temporarily, so it’s best to avoid them when possible.

Additional paperwork required for mortgage applications

Not every mortgage application will be the same. Depending on the type of income you receive, you may need to provide different forms of income verification.

Each person will also have to claim different debts and assets. When buying a home with a spouse or partner, it’s important to consider your debts, assets, and credit scores to determine if it’s better to apply jointly or separately.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 8/23/2017

Let's face it – paying monthly rent for your tiny apartment is no longer feasible. Instead, you need a bigger place to live, i.e. a house that you can enjoy for years to come. As a first-time homebuyer, exploring the real estate market may sound like a fun, exciting opportunity – and it is! However, you need to prepare for the housing market, and by doing so, you'll be able to improve your chances of finding your dream residence quickly and effortlessly. So what does it take to find the right home? Here are three ways to boost your chances of buying your ideal house: 1. Save Money Before You Buy a Home. You'll likely need to find a lender that can offer you a mortgage with an interest rate that fits your budget. And if you save money before you buy a house, you could improve your chances of getting a mortgage with a lower interest rate. Typically, having enough money to cover several months worth of a home's mortgage may make you a better candidate for a mortgage than other potential homebuyers. It also is important to keep in mind that saving money now may help you pay closing costs and other fees that frequently arise during the homebuying process. 2. Look at Both Your Income and Debt. Ideally, you'll want to establish a budget as you prepare to explore the real estate market, as this will allow you to determine which houses you can afford. When you create your budget, be sure to consider both your annual income and outstanding debt as well. Evaluating these factors will enable you to better understand your yearly expenses and ensure you're able to search for homes that fit your budget perfectly. Don't forget to consider your future earnings as you develop your budget, too. For instance, if you're a student who already has a job lined up after graduation, you may be able to handle a larger monthly mortgage payment. On the other hand, if you have a baby on the way, you may want to account for the expenses associated with a newborn as you pursue a residence. 3. Monitor Your Credit Score. For homebuyers, your credit score reigns supreme in the eyes of lenders. Thus, spending some time monitoring and improving your credit score may make it easier for you to move one step closer to landing your dream house. Remember, you're eligible to receive a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union) annually. And if you review a copy of this report, you can understand where your credit score currently stands. If your credit score is low, you can improve it by paying off any outstanding debt. Furthermore, if you find an error in your credit report, be sure to notify the agency that provided the report to you to ensure you can fix this mistake; otherwise, the error could impact your ability to buy a house. Being a first-time homebuyer sometimes can be challenging. But if you use the aforementioned tips, you may be able to bolster your chances of purchasing your dream residence.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 5/18/2016

Buying your first home should be an exciting experience. Unfortunately, however, some first time homeowners would confess the term 'stressful' would be a more appropriate description for such an exploit. Despite the rumors, there is no need to be intimidated as a first time buyer if you take the initiative to prepare yourself for the process beforehand. Be proactive. Contact three separate mortgage brokers. The point of contacting multiple mortgage companies being to discover all of your available financing opportunities. Shop around for different rates and different options. Some banks offer VA financing, while others do not. Some banks offer mortgages specifically for first time buyers. You wouldn't purchase smaller items, such as a laptop, without doing your research. Your future home should be no different. Don't settle for the first option you're offered. Educate yourself. The information you need to prepare yourself for the buying process is out there! Some mortgage brokers or real estate attorneys offer educational seminars for first time buyers. Search for a seminar in your community! Don't settle. Realize what some home-seekers have overlooked or misunderstood in the past, there's no cost for you, as a buyer, to have a buyer's agent. Using a buyer's agent will keep your best interests in mind and will benefit you in the long run. Interview a few different real estate agents in order to find someone you are comfortable with. Most real estate agents, including myself, would be happy to sit down and simply have a conversation with you! Let's work together to make this process a great one.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 10/30/2013

Being a first time home buyer has it's benefits when it comes to financing. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has loans tailored specifically to you! Lower down payments and lower closing costs help newbies make the jump into home ownership. With a FHA first time home buyer loan you can get interest rates as low as 3.5%, which can really save money on the life of your loan and keep your monthly payments lower. Your down payment is also lower than a traditional mortgage; instead of putting 20% down, you can put as low as 3.5% down if you qualify. While a lower down payment will increase your monthly payment (since you are taking a loan out for more money), it will help with the burden of needing a large amount of money up front. With FHA loans you can also include most of the closing costs and fees into the loan, again helping with the money needed at the time of purchase. You can even add in the costs for repairing a home that needs a good deal of fixing up. Regardless, you will need to have enough money for the down payment, some closing costs, and inspection. Since you would be putting less than 20% down, FHA loans require that you also have private mortgage insurance (PMI), which is a percentage of your loan. This will be added to your monthly mortgage payment, and the bank will pay it out of your monthly. Being a first time home buyer probably means you need some help on getting through the process. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has housing counseling agencies that can give you advice on buying a home, avoiding foreclosure, and fixing your credit. You can find your local agency at http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm. Lastly, you can also find local buying programs to help with buying a home, including helping with your down payment at http://www.hud.gov/buying/localbuying.cfm. If you never thought you would be able to afford a house, think again. With programs out there to help you buy your first home, you could be moving into a place before you know it!




Categories: Buying a Home