on Jul 07, 2021 1:01:00 PM

Tips For First-Time Home Buyers

Buying your first home is an exciting experience, but it is also a scary one. There are so many options and a lot of technical jargon to navigate. Fear not! Hubbell has a few tips and tricks to help you get through buying your first home. 

Get help! 

You don’t have to figure everything out by yourself. Two great resources to turn to are a mortgage lender and a real estate agent. Your real estate agent is there to help with all the facets of the home buying process. From the initial search to the closing on your new home, a real estate agent is an essential partner to help keep the process smooth and understandable. 

Nothing is more helpful in figuring out your financing than a mortgage lender. Not only will they help to finance your home with a mortgage (more on that later) but they will help you figure out your budget. A mortgage lender helps you determine how much money you will be able to get as a loan, based on a variety of financial factors including financial history and annual income. 

What is a Mortgage/Mortgage Program? 

At a basic level, a home mortgage is a loan for a home, using the home as collateral. You make a down payment, then pay a monthly mortgage payment to pay off the loan. Mortgages give you the option to purchase a house that would be otherwise unattainable. These loans can come from a variety of different programs and agencies, including the government and the private sector.  

Down Payments 

It’s okay if you haven’t had the opportunity to save lots of money before you buy your first home. A common misconception is that you must be able to make a down payment of 20% to buy a home, thankfully you don’t. As a first-time home buyer, you probably haven’t had the time (or ability) to save for long. With the help of outside resources and grants, you may only need 3-5% saved to make your down payment. The Iowa Finance Authority is a great resource to help learn more about this, as is your mortgage lender. 

Expenses you Forget About 

There are other expenses in the home purchase and owning process that are easily forgotten but can add up quickly. These include monthly fees like a homeowner’s association, property taxes, and closing costs. These expenses are small by themselves, but if you aren’t planning for them, they can hit you and your wallet hard. Remember to lean on your licensed real estate agent with questions about these expenses and budgeting, their experience and knowledge can take the uncertainty out of the equation. 


The price of your new home is never set in stone, so negotiate! It may be that after inspection, the house is worth less than thought, it could be that the home is overpriced, or maybe you have a budget that you won’t exceed. Regardless, communicating with your real estate agent can make this process a lot less strenuous. When you are putting an offer in, make sure it is a price that is reasonable and comfortable for you.  

All these tips can help make your first-time home purchase easier to navigate, click here for more on these tips. And don’t forget about the most fun part of the purchase: choosing the house! For many great options and floor plans, go to Hubbell Homes to see what is available. With options from townhomes to detached single-family homes to downtown condos, Hubbell provides a house to begin the buying conversation.