Good Neighbors Credit Union

The First Time Home-Buyer’s Guide to Mortgages

The First Time Home-Buyer's Guide to Mortgages

Just as you would carefully prepare for a big project to ensure success, you will do the same thing when buying a home. A successful home buying experience is the result of careful planning, getting the tiny details right from beginning to end. Unfortunately, this can be a huge challenge for first-time homebuyers trying to navigate the home-buying process with little to no know-how.

Are you one of those first-time homebuyers looking to capitalize on a home purchase? One of the biggest factors that will dictate your home buying experience is mortgages. Here’s what you need to know to ensure you get mortgages right the first time:

1. Set a Budget

One of the first things you should always do when buying a home, or anything for that matter, is to set a budget. Figure out how much you can spend without putting yourself into financial peril. If you don’t know how to do this, you can look for an online calculator to help you understand the range of budgets you can set. The calculator will consider your income, debt, down payment, and other factors to give you as accurate a number as possible.

2. Save as Soon as Possible

As early as possible, we recommend that you start saving. This is because when you save early, you have more money to work with. That many can be used for multiple things, such as paying a bigger down payment. Also, you can use the funds to cover the mortgage’s closing costs, which can be around two to five percent of the mortgage’s value. Finally, you’ll need some money when you finally move into the home for things like furnishings, upgrades, and more.

3. Improve Your Credit Score

One of the most significant factors a lender will consider when offering you some mortgage options is your credit score. The credit score is like a mark that tells the lender just how trustworthy you are when handling debt, and the higher the score, the better! If you have a bad credit score, you can improve it by paying your bills on time, lowering your credit card balances, and the like.

4. Look for Assistance Programs

There are many first-time homebuyer assistance programs out there developed for people like you. However, they won’t be given to you on a silver platter. You will need to identify them by yourself, and knowing that different states and even cities offer different types of programs, you will need to do some research. These programs will help to make home-buying a lot more affordable, so identifying and using them will help you save money.

5. Get Preapproved for a Mortgage

You might not need to get preapproved for a mortgage, but it certainly will help with the buying process. Not only will it help you identify what amount of money you qualify for, but being pre-approved means that you are already guaranteed to get the money. This can be used as an advantage when trying to buy a home, as sellers who see your pre-approval letter will take you a lot more seriously.


These are just some of the many tips that can help you enjoy a much smoother and more successful home-buying experience. Regardless, following all of the above tips will give you the best chances of not only securing your dream home but also being able to afford it without emptying your bank account. That being said, do take the time to compare different mortgages from different lenders. You never know when you’ll run into the perfect mortgage that fits your needs! Good Neighbors Credit Union offers local credit union banking services and products clients need to manage their finances and make the most out of it. If you are looking to apply for loans in Buffalo, apply with us today!

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