Buying Your First Home: Four Tips

June 27, 2021

Categories: Education, Tips, Your Home

If you’re looking for your first home, The Summit is here to help.

Buying your first home is exciting! But it can also be an intimidating and time-consuming process. Lucky for you, there are preparations prospective buyers can do to help them make the dream of home ownership come true.

Young couple moving into new home

1) Save for a down payment

Regardless of the market, you can save a sizeable amount on your mortgage with a down payment between 20-25%. A healthy savings will also give you a leg up on your closing costs. But don’t be intimidated—this doesn’t mean you have to make large cuts to your budget. Just a few thousand extra dollars can make a difference.

Find a budgeting tool (like the Aligning Priorities Workbook) that works for you and start making small cuts from your daily spending; you will see how they add up over time. Try making your own coffee in the morning or bringing your lunch to work. Then, put your extra savings into one of The Summit’s savings accounts.

2) Check out the Homebuyer Dream Program

The Summit makes it easier than ever to buy your first home with our Homebuyer Dream Program. If you’re a qualified first-time homebuyer, you could get up to $10,000 for the down payment and closing costs!

Availability of The Homebuyer Dream Program is limited. (This means that there are only a certain number of grants.) Check here for more info. You can also contact our Mortgage Team at (585) 453-7010 or (800) 836-7328 extension 7010.

3) Shore up your credit

There’s no better time to start than now. If you don’t have a credit card, sign up for one to build your credit. (Try one of ours to get one of the lowest rates around!) Always try to make your payments on time. If you already have a credit card, limit your applications for more and be careful of making too many large purchases. Also, pay down any credit balances as much as you can, starting with your card that has the highest APR. If you have any unused cards, keep them open—this will help your credit utilization ratio.

4) Get pre-approved for a loan

Pre-approval (which is not the same as a commitment) is an important step in the home-buying process. This gives you a stronger understanding of what you can afford, while showing sellers that you are a serious buyer. It’s great info to know while you’re searching for home.

Bonus tip: Get mortgage help locally

It’s a good idea to have someone local to personally usher you through the homebuying process from start to finish, to answer all your questions and to be your trusted partner. The Summit’s Mortgage Team is here to help you with mortgage experts in Buffalo, Rochester, Seneca Falls, Syracuse and Cortland. Meet our team here, or contact us at (585) 453-7010 or (800) 836-7328 extension 7010.

This blog was originally published here in 2019.

The Summit FCU is an Equal Housing Lender and federally insured by the NCUA. Loans subject to credit approval. Membership eligibility required. Must be 18 years of age or older to apply.