Achieving the American Dream–as home ownership was called–takes preparation and education. For most first-time home buyers the path to home ownership can be somewhat rocky. The key to success is in understanding where to find the resources required to deliver you to your goal of a new home. Much knowledge can be found for free by using local and government non-profit organizations’ first-time home buyer services.
Knowledge is power
There are lots of government programs through HUD (Housing And Urban Development) and local non-profits, such as California’s Housing Education Program, that provide free workshops, in addition to local lenders and banks that offer free instruction classes and much more. Many community financing programs require the borrower attend a class and make a Community Home Buyer certification. See Resources for a listing of local first-time home-buyer classes close to you.
Discover Available Programs
The San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH) works to give funding for buying affordable housing. Among its many goals, MOH also administers an assortment of applications and provides financial (often down-payment assistance) and educational support to first-time home buyers. Funds for these programs come and go, so verify availability with them, if your creditor is unsure. Mayor’s Office of Housing 1 S. Van Ness, 5th Floor San Francisco, CA 94103 415-701-5500 sf-moh. Org Also consult the California Housing Finance Agency to see whether you are eligible for the Home-buyer’s Down-payment Assistance Program (CHDAP) and also the Affordable Housing Partnership Program (AHPP). Visit their website to look at the qualifying conditions. Sacramento Headquarters 1415 L St., Ste. 500 Sacramento, CA 95814 877-9-CalHFA 877-922-5432 calhfa.ca.gov/homebuyer
Apply for Mortgage Approval
To become pre-approved, you must work with a mortgage lender. The mortgage lender will evaluate criteria such as; your credit report, income, job history and resources. You will need to provide documentation which verifies the information. The bank will also allow you to know whether you are eligible for down-payment assistance programs or special interest rates, etc.. Finding a California Housing Finance Agency approved creditor is easy. Stop by their website (see Resources) and type in your own county. Once you finish the application and approval process, the lender will give you a pre-approval letter. This letter informs a home seller that you are eligible for a particular mortgage amount and sets you ahead of any possible buyers who have not yet gone through the procedure.
Locate An Agent
A good real estate agent is a great asset. They also have many resources to aid you in your hunt for a home. A professional agent knows the local home market closely and is well educated regarding financing options which may be offered to you. To find a real estate agent, first ask for a referral from a trusted friend or family member. If there are not any, then see open houses or locate one through a local real estate vendors’ organization.