From finding the one to closing the deal, our agents are good to know.

As you start your home ownership journey, you’ll need an agent prepared to build a relationship based on your long-term goals. Our highly trained network agents have the wisdom and dedication to ensure you get all the value that home brings – not just in your first home, but year after year after year, home after home after home.

Use our agent’s experience to your advantage.

Buying your first home is a huge decision and one that merits real research and a trusted partner. That’s where our network can guide you. 

While this is your first time buying a home, our agents do this every day. So they can walk you through the process. Provide the most accurate numbers and talk through what they mean. And, most importantly, offer real-world insight and advice based on years of local market experience. It’s that level of knowledge that will leave you 100% confident in your decision to buy.

“A home is one of the most important assets that most people will ever buy... You want to work with someone you can trust.”
Warren Buffett
CEO Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.

Opportunities Abound for First-Time Homebuyers

If you have recently decided to move from renter to homeowner, you are not alone. First-time homebuyers made up 41 percent of the market, according the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2008 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. And affordability increases in many markets around the country have created unique opportunities for those considering home ownership for the first time.

As a homeowner, you have security and stability, the freedom to decorate and remodel, potential to build equity and tax benefits. And with interest rates still at historically low levels – 5.22% for the typical, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (as of early August 2009), combined with ample inventory, now is a great time to buy. Plus, there are
several incentives and programs available specifically for first-time homebuyers.

First-Time Homebuyer Credit

One program that is a great financial opportunity is the highly publicized First-time Homebuyer Credit, which was part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. This federal initiative allows first-time homebuyers to take up to an $8,000 tax credit, which doesn’t have to be repaid, toward a new or resale property purchased prior to Dec. 1, 2009. Under this program, a first-time homebuyer is considered to be anyone who has not owned a  principal home within the last three years. If you are married, both spouses must meet this criterion. However, unmarried joint purchasers may allocate the credit amount to any buyer who qualifies as a first-time buyer. In addition, ownership of a vacation home or rental property not used as a principal residence does not disqualify a buyer as a first-time home buyer. You are also eligible to claim first-time buyer status if you owned a principal residence outside of the United States within the last three years. The actual tax credit may vary depending on the purchase price and your income. The credit is generally equal to 10 percent of the home’s purchase price, not to exceed $8,000. In addition, the income limit to receive full credit is $75,000 for single taxpayers and $150,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return.

Mortgage Loans

As a first-time homebuyer, you don’t have the advantage of using the equity in a previous property to help bridge costs associated with down payment, closing and other fees. Many financial institutions have mortgage products with you in mind. In addition, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers mortgage programs in which your down payment can be as low as 3.5% of the purchase price, and allows most of your closing costs and fees to be  included in the loan. Although FHA does not directly loan to consumers, you can work with a FHA-approved  lender.


Affordability increases in housing allows the first time homebuyer to purchase a larger and possibly a newer home than they could have purchased just three or four years ago. Not only does the increase in affordability aid the  homebuyer but with more selection it allows them to find that perfect home. Market conditions have never been  more favorable for the first time homebuyer. Now is the time to buy! The transition from renter to homebuyer is a large step and is arguably one of the largest investments you’ll make, so make sure you take advantage of all the assistance available to make the road to homeownership that much easier.

First time home buyer? Keep these tips in mind.


Down Payment Isn’t Everything

Set aside 1-3% of your purchase price to cover unexpected fees and expenses.


Plan Ahead

Specialists recommend holding at least six mortgage payments in the bank in case of emergency.


DIY to Save

Based on the inspection, you may want to buy the home as-is for a lower cost, then tackle projects later on your own timeline and budget.

Take the Next Steps


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