The First Steps Toward Buying a Home

First Steps toward buying a home

The first step isn’t always the hardest…


“Yeah, I’d love to buy a house right now, but you can’t even get a loan these days without 20% down.”-Half of the U.S. population

If I had a nickel for every time a friend, family member, or perspective client mentioned this notion to me I would have….roughly $12.35.  The idea that money is not available to those without 20% down is something that widely has been disseminated by the media. If you watch CNN or Fox News, see how I covered myself there, almost every time mortgages are discussed they act as though a loan with low money down is some elusive white whale that doesn’t really exist.  The truth is, money today is cheaper than it has been in ages and there are a wide variety of programs that can get you into a gorgeous home without depleting every nickel you have saved.

Whether you look at government insured options such as an FHA loan or privately insured options on the conventional side you can get into a home with as little as 3 or 3.5% percent down. Obviously, it goes without saying that there are some qualifying factors here, but they aren’t as bad as you might imagine.  Credit scores can be mid-low 600s to qualify for these types of financing which means that you don’t necessarily need the most squeaky clean credit in the neighborhood just to own a home.  Often times the establishment of a mortgage trade line can be the biggest catalyst to giving your credit score the boost it needs to hang out with those highfalutin 740+ credit guys and gals.

Granted, having 20% down is ideal, but what is really important is that a plan is in place.  Hearing that 20% down is the only way to get into a nice home can be not only daunting, but a huge deterrent in actually achieving your goals. It is much more manageable to simply develop a plan and take small, calculated steps toward accomplishing your goals. Trying to set $40,000  aside to buy a home can seem impossible, but getting $7,500 together over the next 6 months is much more doable.

The best way to start is to do just that, start! 

Step 1:  Together we asses where your credit currently lies and based upon how much money your household makes we can determine the amount of house that makes sense for your budget.  Often times the internet provides calculators for this, but there is not a “one size fits all” formula for you and your family, that why sitting down together is so important. Accuracy  counts.

Step 2:  We develop a plan and go over the individual activities you need to take to get your goal.  This may be 2 months, 6 months, or longer, but once we have a plan in place the reality of buying a home will become much more real.

Step 3: We will continue to monitor these activities and ensure that credit is holding strong and money is being saved.

Step 4: Final assessment, strong handshake, and you go house hunting!

Buying a house doesn’t have to be a hard, painful process, instead it should be the exact opposite.  Feel free to shoot me an email and I would be happy to discuss with you the steps we need to take to get you where you want to be!


-Matt Brown

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