Whether plagued by school loans or other accumulated long-term debt, many first-time buyers feel shut out from buying a home. Credit scores that have been compromised by heavy debt loads have also been a hindrance to many. According to a recent Experian report, millennials have the lowest average credit score of any previous generation.

The good news is that, recognizing this fact, FHA (Federal Housing Authority) has lowered its credit score requirement to 580. This may come as a welcome surprise, as a recent Ellie Mae survey shows that 67% of renters think they need a credit score of 700 or above to qualify for a mortgage.

The same Ellie Mae survey found that 52% of renters feel lack of a down payment is the biggest factor preventing them from buying a home. Know that there are various government loan programs designed to meet the needs of those with minimum funds for a down payment on a mortgage.  First-time buyers are encouraged to learn of products such as those offered by FHA, NHHFA (New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority) and RD (Rural Development), as these provide opportunities for prospective buyers looking to achieve the dream of home ownership, with grants funded alongside these government loan programs resulting in the possibility of 100% financing.

Another way to pare down the cost to purchase a new home is through Seller-paid closing costs.  A timely and well-structured offer that hits the Seller’s goal, while at the same time providing you needed help with closing costs, may make your first home purchase achievable.

Of course, in a perfect world you would have some savings for a down payment, or at least some reserves put aside for any unexpected repairs to your home.  What’s important is that you discover what options you may already have, or learn how to design a plan to get you to your desired goal.  Your journey to owning your first home begins with educating yourself, so let us share our knowledge with you.