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First Time Home Buyers

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Buying your first home is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.

Our experienced mortgage lenders have helped thousands of homebuyers move into their first home. Here’s some helpful advice to guide you and answer any questions you may have.

Are you ready for homeownership?
Before you do anything else, spend a little time determining if this is the right time to purchase a home. You can use our Renting Versus Owning calculator to help inform your decision. Once you’re certain that ownership is the right option for you, weigh your property options. In addition to a single family home, a town home or condominium might be a better fit for certain people.

Get fiscally prepared.
The earlier you plan for your first home, the better you can prepare. Once you have a savings plan in place for your down payment, check your credit score. It may have an impact on your loan options and mortgage rate. Here are a few commonly overlooked things you can do to make sure your credit score is stronger when you apply:

  • Don’t take out any new debt.
  • Make sure all your bills are paid on time.
  • Clear up any financial disputes you might have, no matter how small or old they might seem.

Find a mortgage loan officer.
Partnering with a mortgage loan officer early in the process can save you a significant amount of money and help you avoid some common mistakes.  He or she will go far beyond just helping you find the right type of mortgage. Their personal service means they’ll help you lock in your mortgage rate, determine if you qualify for special rates or programs, and much more.

Be prepared to make an offer.
The day will come when you find the right home.  When you do, will you be ready to make an offer? Getting pre-qualified early in the process gives you a clearer idea of how much home you can afford and allows you to make a competitive offer faster with more confidence.

Educate yourself.
Knowledge is power. The more you know, the more comfortable you’ll feel throughout the process. Personal banking means providing you with the resources you need to learn all the basics and more. We’ve organized a library of resources written in “non-banker” terms in our Advice Center that cover a wide variety of topics. Here are a few topics that every first time home buyer should read about first.

If you are thinking about buying a home, we encourage you to review the many helpful resources and the “Shopping for Your Home” video on The information provided will help you in assessing how much of a home you can afford, and will provide information on housing counselors in your area. We encourage the use of a housing counselor prior to buying a home. In addition to mortgage personnel, counselors can assist you by providing information regarding questions or concerns surrounding your purchase, fair housing laws, credit issues and foreclosure prevention.

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