Make Your First Home Purchase Your Best-Ever Decision

Can you get qualified? Even without a substantial down payment saved, you’ll find there are programs—such as the FHA loan program—that make it possible for you to become a first-time home buyer.

Take advantage of interest rates. There’s no guarantee that interest rates are going to be this low forever. By getting out of the renter’s game and locking in low interest rates, you can begin a lifelong journey of wealth building.

Use less money down than you imagined. The concept of saving up 20% for money down against a loan can scare some first-time home buyers. But we’ll explain why that doesn’t always have to apply to you.

What You Need to Know About First-Time Home Buying

According to some statistics, a majority of renters who want to buy a home don’t move forward because they’re afraid they don’t qualify! But there are plenty of programs that make it viable for lots of people—even those with poor credit—to qualify.

For many first-time home buyers, the main issue is coming up with the down payment. Many of those who would otherwise buy a home feel they would move their purchase timeline forward if they could make the down payment.

With some first-time home buyers’ terms, it’s possible to pay with a relatively small down payment, much smaller than the usually-expected 20%.

Home sales are as hot as ever, with available homes sometimes going off the market in as little as three weeks in some areas—or even less.

Find favorable terms. When you approach it the right way, your first home purchase can be a door to great terms that help you with your monthly budget.

2 Ways to Use Your FHA 203(k) Loan

Buy a Fixer-Upper (and Fix It Up)

Or... Renovate Your Current Home!

Best Mortgage Loan Originator, period. Don't even bother to talk to another lender. Vito and Lifestone Mortgage are the absolute best. You will get great service, the best rates possible for your situation, and no problems closing. I have worked with Vito on two mortgages and referred others to him with excellent results every time. Thanks again Vito!

- Jeff D.

We worked with Vito to buy our home in 2021-22 and he was a pleasure to work with. He was knowledgeable and responsive, answering our questions extremely quickly. Some other lenders we considered took days to respond, but Vito always did within an hour (and usually less). He even prepared documents for us on the eve of a holiday weekend. In this market, having a responsive lender is key and Vito made it easy to move quickly. He also secured us a great rate. We highly recommend!

- Meagan H.

We just completed refinancing our home through Lifestone Mortgage Corp. Just thinking about going through the whole thing made me nervous. Then a friend recommended I call Vito at Lifestone Mortgage Corp. Moving forward everything was done for me. He and Marihas kept us up-to-date every step of the way. I would definitely recommend working with them. When I get ready to do this again I will definitely call them. They will not only walk you through the process, they will carry the load as you go.

- Deborah L.

I had the pleasure of working with Dan Slattery to purchase my first home. Dan here had helped me for upwards of probably 3 years in my home search and never once gave up on me or became unresponsive. He was very easy to work with and I always felt as though I was provided with straight up and honest service through him. I would absolutely work again with Dan and Lifestone.

- Zack O.

Professional and prompt service. Will use it again. Highly recommended. Always on time. Always pleasant and very helpful. Impressive and on time. Ron and Maria Lofton

- Maria & Ron L.

We had a great experience with Dominick and his team. We really appreciate all of your efforts. Whenever we called, Dominick picked up or returned to my call within the hour. We were first time home buyers, so we got a lot of questions. We always got an answer to all of our inquiries in an email or text within minutes. We feel like we got a great deal. I would definitely recommend Dominick and his team to all of my friends and family. Thanks again Dominick.

- Kara M.

Your Renovation Wish List Could Include...

Increase window size

Bring in more natural light

Finish a basement or attic

Create a mother-in-law apartment or guest space

Correct foundational issues​

Protect your investment for the long-term

Add a detached garage when one does not exist​

There’s room for everyone

Knock down walls​

Open up the floor plan to create versatile, welcoming spaces

Flood-proof your property​

Add a retaining wall to prevent expensive damage

Repair the pool​

Tired of leaks and cracks? Fix the pool & start enjoying it

Expand or refresh the kitchen​

Cooking is just more fun in an updated kitchen

Add square footage​

Growing your family? Grow your home alongside it!

And so much more! ​All funded by your single, convenient FHA 203(k) Renovation loan.

And start planning your renovations now!

After remodeling, ​74% of owners have a greater desire​ to be in their home, and ​65%​ ​have increased enjoyment​ in their home.

Source: National Association of Realtors® 2020 Remodeling Impact Report

How Does a Renovation Loan Work?

Depending on the types of repairs you plan to do, ​you have two options​ when it comes to securing a FHA 203(k) Renovation Loan: Limited and Standard.

The Limited 203(k) loan

The Limited 203(k) loan is for non-structural or “cosmetic” repairs. It covers up to $35,000 in renovation costs. With a Limited loan, you can do nearly anything that doesn’t affect the home’s structure! ​Think kitchen and bathroom remodels, carpet and flooring replacement, painting, appliance replacement, and much more.

The Standard 203(k) loan

The Standard 203(k) loan is a loan for projects with repair costs over $35,000. It can be used for structural or non-structural repairs. With a Standard Loan, you have even more flexibility. ​You can expand the home’s footprint, improve accessibility for differently abled people, and even move the home to a different site.

Find out how to buy my first home! Discover what you can do with an FHA Purchase or Renovation loan!

What Do First-Time Home Buyers Need to Know About Buying a Home?

Why should I buy a home now and not rent until I can save up a massive down payment?

Because there are plenty of options for lowering your down payment! For example, the FHA loan program, which includes loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration, is great for people with low credit scores and not a lot saved for a down payment. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t save for a down payment—but remain open to all of the options available.

How will I afford my home?

Pre-approval for a first-time home buyer can be a major step in the process, and it’s easier than you think. A pre-approval is essentially a (conditional) promise from a lender that they can offer you the mortgage terms you need to make an offer on a house. This requires an application process that’s much simpler than you might imagine—and great for first-time home buyers who want to shop around and demonstrate to a seller that they’re serious about their offer.

Should I save for a down payment?

Absolutely. Just because you don’t necessarily have to make a 20% down payment on your first home doesn’t mean that you should eschew the process completely. Having a substantial down payment saved never hurts.

I have a low credit score. What kinds of loan programs are there for me?

If you go through the application process and make sure that your payment is in line with what you can fit within your budget (the typical recommendation is a mortgage that takes up no more than 25-33% of your household budget), then you’ll find it’s possible to afford your first home—and the process may be much simpler than you imagined

How do I get pre-approved?

In addition to the FHA loan program as mentioned in the previous answer, you should also look at your qualification for: the VA loan program, the USDA loan program, and even the Good Neighbor Next Door buyer aid program.

What should I do next?

Simple. Click any of our buttons above and find out if your first time home purchase can be as easy as we say it is here. Don’t worry about a low credit score, either—you’ll find that there are plenty of programs out there that can help.

Find out how to buy my first home! See if you’re eligible for your first home loan in 60 seconds or less!

Your home, your way.
That’s the FAIR WAY!