If you’ve never owned a home and you’re finally ready to make the long-awaited transition from renting to owning, the road to home ownership can often seem daunting. Unlike renting a new home or apartment, buying a home in the Durham area for the first time is not only a major financial decision that requires lots of planning, but it’s also more of a long-term commitment that can have a lasting affect on your overall quality of life. But don't let the complex process of buying a home scare you. As long as you exhaust all the amazing resources that are available to first-time home buyers, and also team up with an experienced agent who specializes in working with first-time home buyers, finding and securing your first home should be a fun and exciting experience that you won't soon forget. So first thing's first—let's take a look at just some of the amazing services and other resources that are currently available to any and all first-time home buyers in North Carlina.
As a first-time home buyer in Durham, one of the first steps you’ll need to take is how to secure financing. For most of us, buying a home is the largest purchase we’ll ever make, and it’s going to take a pretty sizable loan to get you settled into your new place. So with that said, let’s first take a quick look at several different assistance programs that help people every day just like you secure all the financial help they need to purchase a fabulous new place to live:
If you’re early in the process of looking around for financing, the NC Housing Finance Agency is an excellent resource for first-time home buyers. Specializing in helping home buyers find the best mortgage product that fits their individual needs and wants, the NC Housing Finance Agency will guide you through every step of the way. And for first-time buyers specifically, their NC Home Advantage Mortgage™ also offers down payment assistance of up to 5% of the loan amount.
Another great offering from the NC Housing Finance is the NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment. If you qualify for the NC Home Advantage Mortgage™ you may be eligible to receive an additional $8,000 towards your down payment. The is a second mortgage is 0% and will be deferred, but is forgiven at a rate of 20% during year 11-15. This is another great option for first time home buyers in the Triangle area.
The Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) is a credit that allows first time home buyers and military veterans can to save up to $2,000 on their federal taxes when purchasing a home. The great thing about this credit is that it can be combined with many other loan products to allow the buyer instant savings while purchasing a home. To gain a better understanding of how this credit works check out the calculation below:
Let's say on $165,000 mortgage with a 3.5% interest rate you would roughly pay $5,775 in interest the first year on this loan. The MCC credit allows you to take that $5,775 paid interest and deduct 30% of it for a federal income tax savings of $1,732.50 ($5,775 x 30% = $1,732.50) Another perk is that you are eligible for this credit every year you live in the home.
Credit unions members usually have a few special financing options that are not available to nonmembers. State Employees Credit Union and Coastal Federal Credit Union have great first time home buying options if you are members. The credit unions offer a 0 money down loan option that fits many buyer needs in the Durham market. These loans also afford the buyer by not requiring Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) which helps saves the buyer on the monthly mortgage.
The VA Loan (The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) is a loan that is offered to military veterans, service members, and their spouses. This loan is fully guaranteed and is 0 down for the eligible borrower. This is an awesome exclusive program for veterans to take advantage of with wonderful benefits.
The idea behind the USDA Guaranteed Loan Program is to assist lenders in providing low and moderate-income households with decent, safe, and sanitary housing in eligible rural areas around the Triangle region. To apply, applicants must meet the following criteria:
Don’t be afraid to walk away. Buying a home is a very important decision, so make sure you’re comfortable with every aspect of a deal. And if you're not, wait for the next home to come along that feels like the right fit.
Regardless of where you are in the process, I’m here to help you navigate the first time home buying process from beginning to end. As an experienced Durham real estate agent, I’ve worked with countless first-time home buyers just like you, so I understand the importance of working with someone you not only trust, but also someone you feel comfortable with while managing the stresses of finding a new place to live.