First-Time Homebuyer Guide: Questions to Answer Before Buying a Home

First-Time Homebuyer Guide: Questions to Answer Before Buying a Home

Taking the first step toward buying your home is both exhilarating and overwhelming. As you delve into the process, it is important to consider several factors. Buying a home is one of the largest financial investments you make in your life, so you’ll want to be well-prepared for the adventure ahead. Here are some questions to answer before beginning the process.

How is your credit score?

One of the most important factors in getting that favorable rate is your credit score. Your credit score is essentially a standardized way for lenders to determine how risky it is to lend you money. In order to get the most favorable rate on your mortgage, you will want to have the best credit score possible. Your credit score is formally known as a Fair Isaac Corporation Score (FICO® score). Many factors are taken into consideration such as your payment history, the amount of money owed and also the length of your credit history.

Can you qualify for a mortgage?

Another factor to consider is your debt-to-income ratio. If a loan program uses a 28/36 qualifying ratio, it means you are allowed to spend no more than 28% of your gross income on monthly mortgage payments and no more than 36% on total debt.This includes debts such as car and school loans, credit cards, child support and alimony. So if you earn $60,000 per year, your monthly gross income is $5,000. Under the 28/36 guidelines, your maximum monthly mortgage payment should not exceed $1,400, while your totally monthly debt should not exceed $1,800.

How much home can you afford?

If you have a larger down payment, you may be able to buy more home and still fit in the debt-to-income ratio. If not, you may need to look at a home that has a lower purchase price. Down payments are generally paid in cash, due at closing and based on a percentage of the selling price of the home. You can make a down payment of 20% or more and avoid the cost of mortgage insurance.

There are many affordable mortgage programs available, including loans that offer 100% financing, including VA and USDA loan programs. Additionally, there are low down payment home loan options that only require a down payment of 3.5% to 5%. Many communities offer programs to assist first-time homebuyers with paying their down payment or closing costs.

All loans subject to credit approval. Rates and fees subject to change. Mortgage financing provided by PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company (NMLS: 13649). Equal Housing Lender. © 2013 PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company. For full licensing and disclosure information, visit

Kristen Zorda
Loan Officer
NMLS# 58751
648 Plank Rd. Suite 203
Clifton Park NY 12065
Office: 518-366-7999

PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company

Orson B.Klender,  Associate Broker

Keller Williams Realty Saratoga Springs
38 High Rock Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

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Cell: 1 (518) 588-2319 ~ Fax: 1(866) 588-6066


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About Real Estate Agent in Saratoga Springs

As an agent who's an expert in this local area, I bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise about buying and selling real estate here. It's not the same everywhere, so you need someone you can trust for up-to-date information. I am eager to serve you.

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