First-Time Home Buyer Help

As a first-time homebuyer, you have an exciting journey ahead. We know applying for your first mortgage loan and navigating a complex housing market can be daunting. At U.S. Bank, we want your first home purchase to be a rewarding experience and we're here to help first-time home buyers any way we can.

Your mortgage loan originator can answer any questions you may have along the way. In the meantime, here's some practical advice to get you started on the right path to buying your first home.

How much house can I afford?

It's not uncommon to "qualify" for more mortgage than you can comfortably afford - so it pays to borrow cautiously. Here's some simple advice with links to mortgage rates and easy-to-use mortgage calculators.

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Is buying a better option than renting?

There's a right time to rent and a right time to buy. Find out whether you're ready for the journey to homeownership and your first mortgage with these clear pros and cons for renting vs. buying.

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What are the different types of mortgage loans?

Fixed-rate loans, ARMs, FHA loans, VA loans, jumbo loans - the list may seem long, but it may be in your best interest to become a knowledgeable first-time home buyer and understand your loan options.

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What are mortgage points?

Some homebuyers get lower payments by paying a percentage of interest up front. This option, called "buying points," can lower your interest rate and monthly payments - but it may not be right for everyone.

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What is a mortgage APR?

The Annual Percentage Rate helps you compare payments and total cost between mortgage offers -it's just one of the many factors to consider when shopping for a mortgage loan.

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How does my credit score affect my mortgage rate?

Good payment habits and a low debt/income ratio can mean a lower mortgage rate - and if your credit score isn't what you want it to be, you can improve it over time.

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What's the difference between prequalification and pre-approval?

Both prequalification and pre-approval show you're a serious buyer - one gets you started and the other makes it official. It's important to understand when to do which.

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How do I make an offer on a house?

Making an offer on a house is a formal process, which is why it may be helpful to have a competent, experienced real estate agent on your side. Here are some tactics to discuss with your real estate agent.

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What should be my down payment on a new house?

A down payment demonstrates your commitment and a larger down payment can help you secure a better interest rate - which means you'll have lower monthly mortgage payments.

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What documents are part of the mortgage process?

Now is the time to get organized. As a home buyer you'll be required to prove things like how much you earn, where you've lived, monthly debts and account balances.

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What happens at a mortgage closing?

"Closing" is the last step in the home-buying process. It's where all the parties get together to finalize the transaction by exchanging signatures, checks - and ultimately, house keys.

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Find out how much you may be able to spend on your next home.

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