Can you get qualified? Even without a substantial down payment saved, you’ll find there are programs—such as the FHA loan program—that make it possible for you to become a first-time home buyer.
Make Your First Home Purchase Your Best-Ever Decision
Take advantage of interest rates. There’s no guarantee that interest rates are going to be this low forever. By getting out of the renter’s game and locking in low interest rates, you can begin a lifelong journey of wealth building.
Use less money down than you imagined. The concept of saving up 20% for money down against a loan can scare some first-time home buyers. But we’ll explain why that doesn’t always have to apply to you.
What You Need to Know About First-Time Home Buying
According to some statistics, a majority of renters who want to buy a home don’t move forward because they’re afraid they don’t qualify! But there are plenty of programs that make it viable for lots of people—even those with poor credit—to qualify.
For many first-time home buyers, the main issue is coming up with the down payment. Many of those who would otherwise buy a home feel they would move their purchase timeline forward if they could make the down payment.
With some first-time home buyers’ terms, it’s possible to pay with a relatively small down payment, much smaller than the usually-expected 20%.
Home sales are as hot as ever, with available homes sometimes going off the market in as little as three weeks in some areas—or even less.
Find favorable terms. When you approach it the right way, your first home purchase can be a door to great terms that help you with your monthly budget.
2 Ways to Use Your FHA 203(k) Loan
Buy a Fixer-Upper (and Fix It Up)
Or... Renovate Your Current Home!
Drew and his Team are absolute professionals. They handled everything with ease from day one and offered several options for our family. His interpersonal skills and work ethic are top notch. I would highly recommend Drew and his Team for for anyone seeking a home loan at a great rate!- Daniel Wilson
The guys at Benchmark couldn’t have been a better lending partner for a new home owner like me. It was a seamless process and by the time I closed on my house, my thought honestly was, "that was surprisingly easy". Highly, highly recommend you reach at to Drew White and his team at Benchmark.- Ryan Shaw
Drew and his team were amazing. Everything went ahead of schedule, any questions I had were quickly answered, and they worked seamlessly with my realtor. Couldn’t recommend them enough. Perhaps the best compliment I can give them is that my realtor was so impressed with Drew and Co. that she had her son use them for his mortgage! Thanks Drew!- Lawrence Shideler
The benchmark team not only sets the standard for a lending company they go above and beyond to ensure your getting everything you need. The first time we went through them, our credit score was not what it needed to be for the competitive market in Colorado. A year later with some help and advice from benchmark, we got approved for 700k and are now moving into our home next month in Castle rock. We were able to save our retirement assets and not have to pay a huge sum down.- Aaron Dickens
I am so thankful to have heard of Benchmark Mortgage! There was a tricky situation with my house, but they were ON IT and always very responsive. I closed in a short 4 weeks! As a first-time homebuyer, they were also very patient with all my questions, nothing but good things to say!- Amanda Grace
Drew, Eric and Brodie made up my lending team and I cannot be more happy with their performance. In this extremely competitive market, they went above and beyond to get my into my new home. We closed super fast which made my offer super competitive. 10/10 will recommend.- Nirettzy Velez
During an unfortunate transition in my life, I needed a someone dependable, trustworthy and personable to take on finding a home in a short time frame. I was thankful for Drew! Drew and his team not only bent over backwards to get me the best possible rate, but he made sure I understood the lender language, was extremely communicative, and was willing to give the shirt from his back if you’re in a pinch. You cannot find a better lender in Colorado Springs! Drew, I cannot thank you enough!- Samantha Childress
I know a couple of them personally and they seriously crushed my refi. I was going through a big time lending agency and sent them my numbers to see if they could beat it. They crushed it and cut the time in half. A pleasure to work with and if you are looking for experts this is the way to go.- Stephen Jones
I shopped around quite a bit and was constantly hassled by mortgage brokers trying to take advantage of me. I was growing continuously frustrated until I got a referral to use Drew White and Benchmark Mortgage. That was the best referral I’ve ever gotten. He was extremely user friendly and broke everything down for me so I understood exactly what was what. His patience, customer service, and drive to get everything accomplished quickly but most importantly accurately, was exactly what I expected from a veteran friendly Company. I will never use any other company besides Benchmark Mortgage!- Timothy Hopkins
Drew was amazing right from the get-go. He pre-qualified us at 11:30 at night the very day we met! He literally went to work right away and never stopped until we were at the closing table. Even then, he had our back and was working the details through the entire closing process. A+ Gold Star Outstanding Excellent in every way...- Christopher Gould
Your Renovation Wish List Could Include...
Increase window size
Bring in more natural light
Finish a basement or attic
Create a mother-in-law apartment or guest space
Correct foundational issues
Protect your investment for the long-term
Add a detached garage when one does not exist
There’s room for everyone
Knock down walls
Open up the floor plan to create versatile, welcoming spaces
Flood-proof your property
Add a retaining wall to prevent expensive damage
Repair the pool
Tired of leaks and cracks? Fix the pool & start enjoying it
Expand or refresh the kitchen
Cooking is just more fun in an updated kitchen
Add square footage
Growing your family? Grow your home alongside it!
How Does a Renovation Loan Work?
Depending on the types of repairs you plan to do, you have two options when it comes to securing a FHA 203(k) Renovation Loan: Limited and Standard.
The Limited 203(k) loan
The Limited 203(k) loan is for non-structural or “cosmetic” repairs. It covers up to $35,000 in renovation costs. With a Limited loan, you can do nearly anything that doesn’t affect the home’s structure! Think kitchen and bathroom remodels, carpet and flooring replacement, painting, appliance replacement, and much more.
The Standard 203(k) loan
The Standard 203(k) loan is a loan for projects with repair costs over $35,000. It can be used for structural or non-structural repairs. With a Standard Loan, you have even more flexibility. You can expand the home’s footprint, improve accessibility for differently abled people, and even move the home to a different site.
What Do First-Time Home Buyers Need to Know About Buying a Home?
Why should I buy a home now and not rent until I can save up a massive down payment?
Because there are plenty of options for lowering your down payment! For example, the FHA loan program, which includes loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration, is great for people with low credit scores and not a lot saved for a down payment. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t save for a down payment—but remain open to all of the options available.
How will I afford my home?
Pre-approval for a first-time home buyer can be a major step in the process, and it’s easier than you think. A pre-approval is essentially a (conditional) promise from a lender that they can offer you the mortgage terms you need to make an offer on a house. This requires an application process that’s much simpler than you might imagine—and great for first-time home buyers who want to shop around and demonstrate to a seller that they’re serious about their offer.
Should I save for a down payment?
Absolutely. Just because you don’t necessarily have to make a 20% down payment on your first home doesn’t mean that you should eschew the process completely. Having a substantial down payment saved never hurts.
I have a low credit score. What kinds of loan programs are there for me?
If you go through the application process and make sure that your payment is in line with what you can fit within your budget (the typical recommendation is a mortgage that takes up no more than 25-33% of your household budget), then you’ll find it’s possible to afford your first home—and the process may be much simpler than you imagined
How do I get pre-approved?
In addition to the FHA loan program as mentioned in the previous answer, you should also look at your qualification for: the VA loan program, the USDA loan program, and even the Good Neighbor Next Door buyer aid program.
What should I do next?
Simple. Click any of our buttons above and find out if your first time home purchase can be as easy as we say it is here. Don’t worry about a low credit score, either—you’ll find that there are plenty of programs out there that can help.