First Time Home Buyer Programs, Loans & Grants
At GMFS Mortgage we understand you have lots of questions about how to finance and buy a house for the first time. We are here to help and have assisted thousands of first-time home buyers like you to buy their first home and achieve the American dream of homeownership!
- Wondering if you’re qualified to become a homeowner?
- Concerned about saving for your down payment?
- Concerned about your credit score?
- How does student loan debt affect your ability to become a homeowner?
Read answers to these concerns (opens new window)
Often, the monthly expense of owning your first home is not very different from the cost of renting and we can show you how to get great mortgage rates based on your credit and goals.
First Home Buyer Resources
- Download: First Time Homebuyer Budget Worksheet & Tips
- Calculator: How much mortgage can I afford?
- Calculator: How much mortgage can I qualify for?
- Other Mortgage Calculators
- Home Buying Education Articles (independent 3rd party)
- Home Loan Process
- Providing Requested Documents
- First-Time Home Buyer Articles & Videos
Swipe left to see more reviews
Ashley and Belinda were amazing and were very responsive with any questions that I had and took their time to explain things. They made my first time home buying process a breeze. Even when when we hit a little snag they got it taken care of. I would definitely recommend GMFS Mortgage for your home lending needs!
Tracy C. GMFS Mortgage Customer
Friday July 16, 2021
Had a great mortgage experience as a first time homebuyer. Appreciated the in house support GMFS offers.
Todd F. GMFS Mortgage Customer
Thursday July 15, 2021
Brandi was absolutely amazing through my whole experience. I bought my first home and she was very knowledgeable, making my experience much less stressful. Her services are VERY quick. I highly recommend using Brandi Lebas and gmfs for your next home!
Emma L. GMFS Mortgage Customer
Tuesday July 6, 2021
Ryan and his team were amazing every step of the way. As a new home buyer they answered all of my questions quickly and kept me in the loop throughout the whole process.
Adam F. GMFS Mortgage Customer
Thursday July 1, 2021
You cannot put a price on good service.
I am a little late sharing this but 3 weeks ago I purchased my first home! I put three offers on three other houses which all went to the highest bidder, but Ryan was there to answer all my questions and educate me on the process and what to expect.
I ended up signing a purchase agreement on a brand-new home and with DSLD’s incentives, on paper, it appeared to make more sense financially to utilize their lender and title company and Ryan was very understanding.
Fast forward to two months after signing my purchase agreement, I found out days before closing that DSLD’s lending company completely dropped the ball. They did not process my paperwork or submit my application to the underwriters until 2 days before I was scheduled to close! Even though my purchase agreement had been signed two months prior and my DSLD lender had been assuring me that they were on schedule to close on 5/14. I immediately called Ryan to see if there was anything he could do, and thankfully there was! I fired DSLD’s mortgage company and moved forward with Ryan at GMFS. Ryan’s goal was to have me in my home by the end of the month and from start to finish he had me in my house in less than 2 weeks! We closed on my home on 5/25 6 days earlier than promised! His team was extremely professional and made the entire process effortless. The difference in communication and professionalism was unbelievable. Ryan was even able to get me a lower interest rate than I had with the previous lender! I would highly recommend Ryan to all my family and friends! Thank you, Ryan, and your team, for all of your help!
Victoria M. GMFS Mortgage Customer
Tuesday June 8, 2021
First Time Home Buyer Loans:
- We offer 100% Financing mortgage programs for purchase or to refinance. These “No Down Payment” mortgages can also provide options to qualified first-time homebuyers.
- A Conforming Fixed Rate loan with a 3o year or 15 year term can be used to purchase a home (max. loan amount is $548,250)
- A FHA loan is typically the best option for 1st time home buyers if not a military veteran or the house is not in an eligible rural area designated by USDA
- HomeOne is a Freddie Mac mortgage program for First Time Homebuyers. The main difference between HomeOne and Home Possible is that HomeOne does not have any income or geographic limits.
- The HomeReady loan product from Fannie Mae is designed for creditworthy, low-to moderate-income borrowers, with expanded eligibility for financing homes in designated low-income, minority, and disaster-impacted communities.
- The Home Possible loan product from Freddie Mac is designed for creditworthy, low-to moderate-income borrowers, with expanded eligibility for financing homes in designated low-income, minority, and disaster-impacted communities
- USDA Rural Development loan is typically the best home loan option for first time buyers if not a military veteran and the house is in an eligible rural area designated by USDA
- VA home loans are typically the best option for first time home buyers if one of the borrowers is a military veteran
- See more Loan Options
Tips for First Home Buyers
1. Start saving for your down payment as early as possibleEven though there are many options that allow as low as a 5% down payment, it is significantly better to have more money up front than less. Be sure to know how much home you can afford before determining how much money you have to save. If you plan to only save 5% of your down payment, keep in mind that 5% of $200,000 is $10,000. In addition, Putting down less than 20% may mean higher costs and paying for private mortgage insurance (PMI). Know how much down payment you need, set a goal, and work hard to reach that goal.
2. Check your credit scoreYour credit score is one of the key factors in determining what type of mortgage and the interest rate for which you qualify. As soon as you know you may want to buy a home, begin work on your credit score. Dispute any errors on your credit report and get them resolved as quickly as possible. Also, do NOT open nor close any accounts within at least six months of applying for a mortgage.
3. Budget for closing costsWhether you plan to pay for the closing costs up front or are planning to roll them into your mortgage, you need to have an idea of how much your closing costs will be. Be sure to do some research yourself and shop around and compare prices for certain closing expenses, such as homeowners insurance, home inspections and title searches. Also, never be afraid to ask the seller to pay for a portion of your closing costs or negotiating your real estate agent’s commission. Closing costs typically run between 2%-5% of the total loan amount.
4. Budget for move-in costsIn addition to insurance, inspections, home title, real estate agent’s commission, and all of the other costs involved in buying a home, many people forget that the actual moving process costs money. Be sure to save enough money for things such as cleaning supplies, food to restock your cabinets and refrigerator, new rugs, paint, and anything that you would like to change cosmetically to the home.
5. Know what type of property you want to buyNow that you have your budget, it’s time to consider what type of property you want to purchase. If you already have your heart set on a single-family home, then you know you’ll be getting a lot more room with more maintenance. On the flip side of that, you may want to have less work and more amenities, which would steer you toward a condo or town-home.
6. Research mortgage optionsDid you know that a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage isn’t the only option for purchasing a home? If you can afford larger monthly payments, you can get a lower interest rate with a 20-year or 15-year fixed loan. Or you may prefer an adjustable-rate mortgage, which is riskier but guarantees a low interest rate for the first few years of your mortgage. Speak with a GMFS Mortgage Loan Officer to determine what is best for you and your future. Loan Options
7. Know the difference between mortgage preapproval and mortgage prequalificationPre-Approval: Getting preapproved for a home loan requires more documentation, verification and time than a mortgage prequalification process.
- Requires complete mortgage application (excluding property address)
- Credit report pulled
- Information submitted to automated underwriting system
- Borrower provides documentation of income and assets (e.g. paystubs, tax returns, bank statements, etc.)
- Lender reviews and verifies all information
- Lender issues a Preapproval Letter subject only to:
- a satisfactory property appraisal
- general closing conditions (e.g. evidence of hazard insurance)
- No material change in information used to issue pre-approval (e.g. new debt, job loss, etc.)
Pre-Qualification: Getting a mortgage prequalification is a simpler process than getting a home loan preapproval and yet still demonstrates you are serious about buying a home to both realtors and sellers.
- Requires discussion with mortgage lender about your monthly income and liabilities
- Credit report may be pulled
- Does NOT include submitting a full mortgage application, income documentation nor any verification
- Lender issues a Prequalification Letter based on what you have told them
At GMFS Mortgage, we find that the vast majority of our borrowers opt for getting prequalified for a mortgage because it is a faster process than getting pre-approved for a mortgage and therefore allows you to begin shopping sooner for your dream home knowing your prequalification letter allows them to make purchase offers with confidence.
8. Hire the right realtorBuying a home is stressful enough without having to do your realtor’s job. You need to hire someone who you can get along with and who will work for you! The right realtor should know exactly what you’re looking for, take you to open houses, and schedule home viewings around your schedule.
9. Stay under your preapproved or prequalified approval limit for your home loanUnderstand that while you can technically buy a home for your maximum pre-approved or prequalification amount, it is the ceiling of your mortgage limit. Instead of maxing out that amount, leave some room for unexpected expenses.
10. Consider more than the obviousHow long will this home and location meet your family’s needs?
Is the property in a flood zone?
Is there any pending new construction or zoning changes that may effect your property value or view?
Is there any pending new construction or zoning changes that may effect your commute time?
What is the area like after dark, after a heavy rain and during other seasons?
Have you researched crime reports and statistics for the area?
How important is the quality of local schools to you and to potential future buyers?
If new construction, have you properly budgeted for window treatments, furniture needs, fencing, yard care, landscaping, etc.?
If there is a Home Owner’s Association have you considered the cost of dues and understand the community rules & restrictions?
If the home is more than 9 years old, are you prepared for potential major maintenance costs (e.g. appliances, AC, pool, roof, etc.)?
11. Be prepared to compromiseDon’t get caught up in the paint color, the blind choices, or the terrible wall paper choice. These things are easily and inexpensively changed after buying a home. Think carefully about what is a need and what is a want when negotiating. You NEED to make sure the seller replaces the broken air conditioner, you WANT the color in the living room to be almond instead of yellow.
12. Make a strong offer, but prepared to negotiateYour realtor should be experienced and will guide you through the negotiation process. A lot can be up for negotiation in the homebuying process, which can result in major savings. Are there any major repairs you can get the seller to cover, either by fully handling them or by giving you a credit adjustment at closing? Is the seller willing to pay for any of the closing costs? Will it be mutually beneficial to you and the seller to either close sooner or later than normal? If you’re in a buyers market, you may find the seller will bargain with you to get the house off the market. During negotiations try to keep your emotions in check and not take things personally, keeping in mind that at some time in the future your role may be opposite and as a seller you will want to maximize the price you can get for your home.
13. Don't forget homeowners and flood insuranceBefore you close on your new house, your lender will require you to buy homeowners insurance. Shop around to compare for the best price offering the most coverage with a deductible that makes sense for you. Keep in mind that homeowners insurance is not the same as flood insurance. Even if flood insurance is not required for your property, consider the peace of mind offered for the low annual cost. Note that most flood insurance policies only cover your main home structure (not detached buildings) and that contents coverage is typically an optional add-on.
14. Know what is included on your home inspectionAfter your offer is accepted, you will need a home inspection. However, not all inspections test for mold, radon, pests, etc. Be sure to know what’s included. Don’t be afraid to ask your inspector to take a look — or a closer look — at something and ask questions. In addition to a professional home inspection, conduct your own inspection. Is the water pressure adequate upstairs? Will you need to replace some flooring? Are there any leaky faucets? Any electrical issues with lots of appliances running at the same time? Any evidence of termite damage or treatment? Any evidence of water damage to the interior/attic ceilings, walls or floors?
Over 130,000 customers and $24 billion in residential mortgage funding in 23 states
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GMFS staff has an avg. of 14+ years of mortgage industry experience
*Not a commitment to lend. All loans subject to credit and property approval. The following terms are for illustrative purposes only. Rates, payments, and loans terms vary by consumer based on their individual qualifying information. The payment amount illustrated does not include the amounts for taxes, property insurance, or mortgage insurance.
|Loan Term||Down Payment||Annual Percentage Rate||Estimated Monthly Payment|
|30 year fixed rate||10% (90% LTV)||4.75%||$1,043|