Just out of school and considering buying your first home? You’ll be surprised how easy it can be to qualify for a loan. Too often, the newly minted workforce doesn’t realize the confidence lenders have in their ability to be responsible homeowners.
Ok, so Mom and Dad told you that you need to buy a house. You’ve graduated from college and you’re earning a decent income. Even though you don’t feel like it most of the time, you are officially all grown up. But you ask yourself, “I’m only twenty-four years old, who would possibly loan me money to buy a house?”
First time homebuyer programs are established with flexible guidelines to attract – you guessed it -first time homebuyers! You are in a great position to buy a home provided you have established some history of decent credit. Even if you don’t have traditional lines of credit to show for yourself, you may have established non-traditional credit and not even realized it. Do you have utilities, a cell phone and cable bill in your name? Have you paid them on time for 12 months? Then you have established non-traditional credit. Granted, many of you already have a credit card or gas card in your name. That’s why Dad wanted your name on it, too. Good thinking on his part. At the time, you were just excited to get the credit card “for emergencies.” It didn’t even occur to you that you were establishing a good credit history.
Most lenders want to see at least a year under your belt earning income. The majority of new job workers are making at or under the median income limit for their area. There are those that beat the curve, but then, if you’re making that much money on your first job, you don’t need a first time homebuyer program. You can probably take another route to your first home. Also, recent graduates can get credit for having a diploma. If you have a diploma and an employer who is willing to verify that you earn what you say and are likely to continue on with them, then you’re good to go -even without a year’s employment history to show for yourself.
Some lending programs ask that a borrower have maintained an excellent rental history, preferably a two year history. But, you don’t get penalized if you have been living at home. Especially, if home is in the same city that your school is located. You are simply asked to provide explanation as to how you managed to live rent free. Sometimes, Mom and Dad have to provide a written statement. They’re probably willing to do that to get you out of the house and off the payroll.
What about a down payment and closing costs? Most programs will allow a seller to chip in 3% of the sales price toward your closing costs. This allowance can cover most if not all of your closing costs. Your Realtor simply needs to be aware that you need this concession so she/he can negotiate it with your purchase contract. And how much do you have to come up with for a down payment? How about $0? Nearly all first time homebuyer programs are designed for empty pocket consumers with potential to earn more and maintain good credit. Some programs don’t require you to have any reserves in the bank. Since so many first time homebuyers live on a budget, these programs allow for the reality of life. And you can be rewarded for being a conscientious consumer with lower than average interest rates being available to you.
You may be ready to buy your first home and not even know it. A good mortgage specialist will pre-qualify you, find out what you can afford or what your comfortable paying. Then, you just have to find the right home. It’s easier than you think!