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Buying your first home is exciting, and can seem complicated. Here are some hints for first time buyers that can help you find the home you want and the mortgage loan you need.

FHA Loans: Strategies for First Time Buyers

Making the right choices of a new home and mortgage can help ensure that you'll enjoy your new place for years. Although many home shoppers find the property they want before shopping for mortgage lenders or home loans, finding loans first can help determine how much you can borrow, and spend on a home.

FHA Home Loans Offer Low Down Payment, Financing Flexibility

  • Get help from a real estate agent or broker: select a real estate professional specializing in the area where you want to buy a home. Let prospective agents and brokers know that you'll be financing your home with an FHA loan.
  • Shop for your mortgage: shopping online, contacting your local bank, or getting referrals from family and friends can help you get the best mortgage rates and terms. Real estate agents and brokers can also help you find FHA lenders.
  • Compare mortgage quotes: insist on written disclosures with mortgage rates and fees. Then make a list of questions for prospective mortgage lenders.
  • Negotiate with mortgage lenders: speak to several lenders with competitive quotes and go over costs. Although some lender fees may be negotiable, others are not.
  • Get pre-approved for your FHA loan: having mortgage pre-approval indicates to sellers that you are ready and prepared to buy a home. Knowing your mortgage limit allows you to focus on homes within your price range. Pre-approval may not eliminate all delays that can occur, but knowing that you're pre-approved for a mortgage loan can be an incentive to sellers.
  • Explore home buyer assistance programs: state housing agencies and community organizations may offer down payment assistance programs or other incentives for first time buyers. FHA lenders and your real estate agent can help find these programs.

Finding your FHA mortgage and learning about resources for first time buyers before shopping for homes increases your ability to choose and buy the home you want.

Karen Lawson
Karen Lawson is a freelance writer with extensive experience in mortgage banking and home loan loss mitigation programs. She holds BA and MA degrees in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.