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Tips for First Time Home Buyer

Ready to buy a home?

With inventory tight and prices rising, this is a tricky time to be entering the market. Your biggest challenge is that you’re probably bringing less cash to the table, which makes it harder to compete with more seasoned buyers and investors.
What you do have, however, is flexibility—you’re not counting on selling your current place to fund the deal. That means you can play nice guy with sellers who want to stay put until they land their next place.

Here are the best moves for you to make as you begin to enter the housing market.

1. Lock Up Your Financials

Before you start shopping, clean up your credit and save for a bigger down payment so that you’ll qualify for a better mortgage rate and avoid costly fees.

2. Check Alternative Mortgage Options

Can’t get close to 20%, or have a credit score in the 600s or low 700s? Federal Housing Administration loans let you put just 3.5% down, and offer better rates for those with less-than-pristine credit. (Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac launched similar programs last year.)

But know the tradeoffs: With a 30-year FHA loan, for instance, you’ll pay an extra 1.75% of the purchase price in upfront mortgage insurance, plus at least 0.8% in annual insurance for the life of the loan.


3. Get Pre-approved

This means a mortgage lender has checked your credit and verified your income and assets; it gives you an edge with sellers looking for a quick, smooth deal.   To help in choosing a lender ask for a referral, you definitely want a lender who is reputable (The Realtors know who the good lenders are).  It helps in this market to have a letter of approval from a reputable and local lender, one that the Realtors know will have the closing documents to the title on time.


4. Finding the right Real Estate Agent a true Advocate

For a generation that uses apps for most transactions, the need for human help may be surprising, but a good buyer’s agent can help you find listings and guide you through financing, inspections, and price negotiations.

Items to consider when choosing a Realtor:
  1. How many years of experience
  2. Local Realtor that knows the area
  3. Ask friends and family for a referral
  4. Check out Realtors credentials (member of local, state, and national association of Realtors)
  5. Full time Realtor


 5. Find out what is driving the Seller


“Have your agent get in touch with the sellers’ agent to find out exactly what they need, whether it’s a longer closing window or an option to rent back.

You may want to write a letter to the seller explaining why this is the right home for you.


The Acker Home Team has been helping buyers find the right home for over 20 years in Ellis County, Texas.  Beth Terminella and Leslie Armstrong work together and have a proven tract record with referrals.

Contact us

To contact Beth Terminella or Leslie Armstrong with the Acker Home Team you can reach them at  or you can call them directly at:

Beth Terminella 214-801-9801

or Leslie Armstrong at 817-980-4760

We look forward to helping you find the perfect home.