Can you get qualified? Even without a substantial down payment saved, you’ll find there are programs—such as the FHA loan program—that make it possible for you to become a first-time home buyer.
Make Your First Home Purchase Your Best-Ever Decision
Take advantage of interest rates. There’s no guarantee that interest rates are going to be this low forever. By getting out of the renter’s game and locking in low interest rates, you can begin a lifelong journey of wealth building.
Use less money down than you imagined. The concept of saving up 20% for money down against a loan can scare some first-time home buyers. But we’ll explain why that doesn’t always have to apply to you.
What You Need to Know About First-Time Home Buying
According to some statistics, a majority of renters who want to buy a home don’t move forward because they’re afraid they don’t qualify! But there are plenty of programs that make it viable for lots of people—even those with poor credit—to qualify.
For many first-time home buyers, the main issue is coming up with the down payment. Many of those who would otherwise buy a home feel they would move their purchase timeline forward if they could make the down payment.
With some first-time home buyers’ terms, it’s possible to pay with a relatively small down payment, much smaller than the usually-expected 20%.
Home sales are as hot as ever, with available homes sometimes going off the market in as little as three weeks in some areas—or even less.
Find favorable terms. When you approach it the right way, your first home purchase can be a door to great terms that help you with your monthly budget.
2 Ways to Use Your FHA 203(k) Loan
Buy a Fixer-Upper (and Fix It Up)
Or... Renovate Your Current Home!
My fiancé and I worked with Phil and his team to buy a home recently. Phil and his entire team were excellent from start through close. They were awesome at educating you every step of the way. Their communication was a major key for a seamless experience. Thank you team Ganz!- Stephen K.
Phil and his team worked extremely hard and fast to make my closing happen in a very tight schedule with only a month required by the seller. They were excellent in answering all my emails and processing all the documentation to make sure the deal happens. Phil’s strategic advices were on point. My kids and I are happier today because of their hard and diligent work. Words may not capture my immense sense of gratitude to each and all over them but I just want to say a heartfelt THANK YOU.- Alberto P.
Phil Ganz is a one of the best loan officers I have ever worked with in the real estate industry. In each of my interactions with him he exudes so much knowledge and skills in the business. Not only is he prompt in his response time, he’s able to give me and my clients an exceptional level of service that is unrivaled by his peers.
Being an investor himself, he understands the mindset and position of each investor that comes to him and is able to find very inventive ways of making every deal work. He partners with many prominent agents allowing him to leverage his production level and relaying the best rates to his clients.
I am always happy to refer Phil and his team to my peers as well as investors that I meet because I know he can get it done. His win-win attitude allows the transaction to move along smoothly and gets us to the finish line.
It is my great pleasure to recommend Phil at Fairway Mortgages for all my Residential Mortgage needs.- Lien V.
We had a great experience recently working with Phil and his team at Fairway. We always knew where we stood in the mortgage process due to Phil’s e-mail updates. His team kept us informed of items we needed to provide and any related deadlines. Phil and his team were extremely responsive to any questions we had. We even received our mortgage commitment letter ahead of our deadline set by the seller. I have purchased a home before and this process went much smoother than my previous purchase – highly recommend!- Monica S.
As first time homebuyers, we needed to be able to trust in our lender’s guidance, and know that they would be able to answer our questions step-by-step along the way. Not only that, we needed someone who could advise us and guide us in the right direction throughout the process.
Ryan and the team at Fairway did this and so much more over the past few months as we successfully bought our first house. We met with Ryan when we first began our home search and he broke the entire process down for us over the course of our meeting. He explained things clearly, concisely, and took time to answer all of our questions completely. He did not let us leave feeling uncertain about anything, and we left feeling confident about our budget and finances.
Our home buying journey involved putting in a number of offers, and Ryan always helped us at a moment’s notice. Throughout the disappointment we faced with each rejection, he reminded us to trust the process. This advice really stuck with us, and it ultimately led us to the house of our dreams.
We can’t thank Ryan and everyone at Fairway enough for their support throughout these past months, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to other first-time buyers!- Lauren F.
Our attorney recommended Phil and Fairway Mortgage after we had several issues with our original lender (Navy Federal) and we couldn’t have been happier.
My partner and I were first time homebuyers and Phil and his team were there for us for the mortgage process. They were able to give us a better rate than we previously had, and Phil sent us emails several times a week with helpful hints to keep our loan from falling through and maintaining our credit and updates with a timeline of where our loan was in the process. His team was also very professional and helped us get everything in on time despite the time crunch we were in since we had to switch lenders. We actually closed two days early.
We would definitely recommend Phil and Fairway Mortgage. Thanks guys! We’re so excited to be finally moving into our new home.- Enzo M.
Phil and his team are great to work with. Phil was very responsive from the initial call to the congratulations call when the mortgage was approved. His team was also very helpful explaining all the requirements for the underwriting as well as following up with the seller’s team to get all the requirements for approval. Phil was also very helpful in explaining the rate movements and we were able to some money by locking in before the recent big increases in rates. This was my first home buying experience so everything was new and it was great to have Phil and his team there to walk me through the entire process. I highly recommend working with Phil!- John M.
Phil is a rock star. I’m so glad to have found him and his great team. They fought really hard to help me get a mortgage, which as both my wife and I are self-employed, it wasn’t a straight forward process.
The reason I worked with Phil in the first place was that some other guy who had been “recommended” to me by a broker stood me up for our first call. In frustration, I thought to myself, how can I find a great mortgage person? Given that I find everything else on Yelp, I thought maybe there would be someone well reviewed on Yelp. Of course, Phil slays it in the Boston market, but he truly deserves the amazing reviews.
Phil and his team are always available, they are super professional, and they got me an amazing interest rate. In fact, my rate was so good that my father-in-law insisted that it had to be an adjustable rate…It was 30 year fixed baby!
He also went above and beyond in many ways. One quick example, was when we were worried about whether our home appraisal would come in at the right amount, Phil actually reached out to one of his personal real estate friends, who knew the town we were buying in to get his insight. They actually sent us a number of comps!
Anyways, I could go on and on, but these folks are a no-brainer. Phil is not just some mortgage sales guy. He helps you through the entire process. If you are thinking of going with some “guy” recommended to you by your mom, uncle, broker, or in-laws, just stop. Do yourself a favor, and go with Phil. I’m really glad that I did.- Marc W.
-I got a fantastic rate.
Phil responded to everything I needed really fast whether by email/phone/text
I was able to determine pretty quickly that I could trust Phil, and during the process it became very clear that Phil is looking out for everyone’s best interest, not just his and Fairway’s
Fairway has systems in place to insure my sensitive information is handled securely.
Once we were in the final stages there was a whole team of people working to make sure we could get to closing in a pretty tight window.
Phil delivered on every promise. What else do you need?- Corey M.
Your Renovation Wish List Could Include...
Increase window size
Bring in more natural light
Finish a basement or attic
Create a mother-in-law apartment or guest space
Correct foundational issues
Protect your investment for the long-term
Add a detached garage when one does not exist
There’s room for everyone
Knock down walls
Open up the floor plan to create versatile, welcoming spaces
Flood-proof your property
Add a retaining wall to prevent expensive damage
Repair the pool
Tired of leaks and cracks? Fix the pool & start enjoying it
Expand or refresh the kitchen
Cooking is just more fun in an updated kitchen
Add square footage
Growing your family? Grow your home alongside it!
How Does a Renovation Loan Work?
Depending on the types of repairs you plan to do, you have two options when it comes to securing a FHA 203(k) Renovation Loan: Limited and Standard.
The Limited 203(k) loan
The Limited 203(k) loan is for non-structural or “cosmetic” repairs. It covers up to $35,000 in renovation costs. With a Limited loan, you can do nearly anything that doesn’t affect the home’s structure! Think kitchen and bathroom remodels, carpet and flooring replacement, painting, appliance replacement, and much more.
The Standard 203(k) loan
The Standard 203(k) loan is a loan for projects with repair costs over $35,000. It can be used for structural or non-structural repairs. With a Standard Loan, you have even more flexibility. You can expand the home’s footprint, improve accessibility for differently abled people, and even move the home to a different site.
What Do First-Time Home Buyers Need to Know About Buying a Home?
Why should I buy a home now and not rent until I can save up a massive down payment?
Because there are plenty of options for lowering your down payment! For example, the FHA loan program, which includes loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration, is great for people with low credit scores and not a lot saved for a down payment. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t save for a down payment—but remain open to all of the options available.
How will I afford my home?
Pre-approval for a first-time home buyer can be a major step in the process, and it’s easier than you think. A pre-approval is essentially a (conditional) promise from a lender that they can offer you the mortgage terms you need to make an offer on a house. This requires an application process that’s much simpler than you might imagine—and great for first-time home buyers who want to shop around and demonstrate to a seller that they’re serious about their offer.
Should I save for a down payment?
Absolutely. Just because you don’t necessarily have to make a 20% down payment on your first home doesn’t mean that you should eschew the process completely. Having a substantial down payment saved never hurts.
I have a low credit score. What kinds of loan programs are there for me?
If you go through the application process and make sure that your payment is in line with what you can fit within your budget (the typical recommendation is a mortgage that takes up no more than 25-33% of your household budget), then you’ll find it’s possible to afford your first home—and the process may be much simpler than you imagined.
How do I get pre-approved?
In addition to the FHA loan program as mentioned in the previous answer, you should also look at your qualification for: the VA loan program, the USDA loan program, and even the Good Neighbor Next Door buyer aid program.
What should I do next?
Simple. Click any of our buttons above and find out if your first time home purchase can be as easy as we say it is here. Don’t worry about a low credit score, either—you’ll find that there are plenty of programs out there that can help.