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Affordability is perhaps the single biggest concern of first-time homebuyers. Many singles and young families in particular wonder how long it will take to afford their first home.

On top of the base price of the home, hidden fees and taxes can add up. Usually, the total amount of the previous year's property taxes will be included on the listing information sheet for the home. If it isn’t, ask to see the seller's receipt. Remember, tax rates change from year to year, so the previous year's bill should only be considered a ballpark figure. For a more precise projection, call the local assessor's office.

Our advice: Don't sell yourself short. Talk to your real estate agent. A good agent is committed to honestly and responsibly working with you to determine your affordable price range. There are many financing options available, some with low down payments. Your agent will help find an option that fits your budget, and you may be surprised at just how much home you can afford.

Our mortgage partner

Homebuyers who are pre-qualified have a competitive advantage when it comes time to negotiate a purchase. Through our mortgage partner, we can help determine what loan programs will work for you before you’ve even selected a house.

Once you go through the pre-approval process and provide us with the required information, we will pull and analyze your credit report. We can then determine the maximum loan amount you qualify for. If you meet the guidelines of our mortgage programs, you will be pre-approved for a loan.

Being pre-approved demonstrates your financial ability to purchase a home, and will help you during the buying process. Final approval is subject to applicable secondary market credit and property requirements.

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