How to Buy a Home?

Low to moderate income buyers are able to purchase an affordable home; and many studies show that home ownership most likely will be cheaper and more beneficial than renting in the long run. But for some people, renting may better fit their lifestyle and situation.

Before reading any further, it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages to owning your own home vs. renting.

Start the guide at Part 1: What is needed to buy a home? or choose a topic from the list below.

Affordable Homeownership Guide

  1. What is needed to buy a home?
    1. Money for a down payment.
    2. A good credit score.
    3. A good Debt to Income Ratio (DTI).
  2. First Steps to Homeownership
    1. Pre-Qualification
    2. Pre-Approval
  3. Contact Housing Counseling Services
  4. HUD Mortgages
    1. FHA Loan
    2. FHA 203(k) and Streamlined 203(k) Loans
    3. Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Homeownership Voucher
    4. FHA Title I Financing Manufactured (Mobile) Homes
    5. Public Housing Homeownership
    6. HUD HOME Funded Homeownership
    7. HUD Homes
  5. Other Mortgage and Loan Programs
    1. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mortgages
    2. USDA Loans
    3. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
    4. Habitat for Humanity
    5. More Programs
  6. Down Payment Assistance
  7. Tax Deductions and Exemptions
    1. Mortgage Tax Credit Certificate (MCC)
    2. State or County Property Tax Deductions
    3. Mortgage Interest Deduction
    4. Homestead Tax Exemption
    5. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) Payments
  8. Costs of Closing on the Purchase of a Home
    1. Earnest Money
    2. Mortgage Application Fee
    3. Appraisal Fee
    4. Assumption Fee
    5. Attorney’s Fee (Hourly)
    6. Brokers Commission
    7. Discount Points
    8. FHA, VA and USDA Fees
    9. Home Inspection
    10. Homeowners Insurance
    11. Mortgage Insurance
    12. Origination Fee
    13. Pest Inspection
    14. Prepaid Interest
    15. Prepaid Taxes
    16. Survey Fees
    17. Title Search
  9. Required Closing Documents
    1. Loan Estimate Form
    2. Closing Disclosure
  10. Home Repair Loans and Grants
    1. Section 504 Program
    2. Rebuilding Together
    3. Neighborworks
    4. HUD Weatherization Programs
    5. Habitat for Humanity Home Repair Program
  11. Considerations Before Buying
    1. Upkeep and Maintenance
    2. Beware of Scams
    3. Keep Your Guard Up
    4. Private Owner Rent-to-Own Contracts
    5. Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM)