First Time Home Buyer, House Hunting In Maine?



What it’s like sliding into the shoes of a first time home buyer house hunting in Maine?

If you already bought and sold a few homes, you forget the full extent of your first time buying a house experience. But anyone in the real estate blog post audience renting and wanting to start owning knows first hand exactly what it’s like.

First time home buyers want joy, feel pain.

They worry, wonder, get excited and dream but have some torture. Fear of “am I ever going to be a home owner or doomed to rent for life” is a prison sentence.

Often like most worries and anxiety, there can be a well thought out work around to stop renting. That’s where I can help with 42 years of real estate experience assisting buyers and sellers in the Maine market.

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Being a first time home buyer on the hunt for a house.

You need to make a move, want a place to live to start putting down roots. What’s it really like as a first time home buyer? Finding yourself homeless, or at least not able to call your home your own but living in someone else’s place?

It’s no fun. Not good business either. Like cars, starter homes are the beginning. But sometimes what you can afford is not quite up to snuff enough to satisfy property requirement standards of the first time home loan program you qualify for today. 

Buying a home in Maine is a big deal.

A milestone in life, that’s what home ownership is. A huge financial undertaking and responsibility. One heck of a hedge against inflation and a wise investment buying not leasing your “shelter”.

Families need a home to grow up in and surrounded by a neighborhood to make lots of memories. A backyard for sleep overs, used to practice pitching with a tree or two to climb. To build a club house and a spot for a garden and to park the swing set.

Month to month renting is one thing for the short term but someone else’s, not your own gets old pretty fast.

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Signing up and taking on a thirty year mortgage loan commitment on your own home in Maine is a whole other matter.

This blog post is about the first time home buyer house hunting experience.

To help those lacing up the running shoes ready to get in the game to become a home owner. The post to also remind those that may have forgotten what it was like and to add a twist. To educate and share what it is like today to be a first time home buyer. 

So how to begin the best practices blog post on the first time home buyer experience, for those house hunting in Maine?

Okay, quick twist turn counter clockwise of the time machine dial. Before secondary mortgage market financing no or low down payment home loans, it was rent. Rent some more.

Scrimp, save, squirrel it away for something bigger until would you look at that hefty bank account? 

Proud as a peacock. Because finally, with lots of effort and constant focus, you saved up my friend the twenty five percent down payment to buy your first home. That’s what you needed years ago for the “character loan” to buy a home mortgage by your local home town bank.

Everyone had to save, clip coupons, use those green stamps for the little extras to frugally protect the household income.

Conserving and saving desperately to climb out of the rent rut into home ownership. Once the big quarter of the house price was all safe and sound in the savings account, first things first.

Time to visit the local banker to discuss mortgage home loans and advance in the let’s buy a home board game of life. Then twirl the dial to get a real estate broker on the party line to set up some house showings.

The required one quarter of what the place in your price range requires for a down payment to buy it was ready and waiting for the next step in house buying. 

You are that first time home buyer who lined the wallet of landlords of all types long enough. Plenty of time to think about how delicious and swell actually buying a home would be. The chances of losing the property with that one quarter of the price invested into it up front meant less foreclosures. 

First time home buyers years ago did not lose the house keys with the frequency of today.

Your first time home buyer did not need expensive mortgage insurance to save the day. It was a better built mortgage loan where the lessons learned saving up that big chunk of funding carried over into the way you continued to do your spending.

How you made your payments taken way more serious when you have lots of skin in the house hunting game.

Carefully, slowly with impulse control and easy does it thinking and respect is good sound money management.

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How’s it feel to be a first time home buyer?

Renting a place that is not yours is like treading water. To live the American Dream like your parents did, all your friends. Who one by one are getting settled into their own nest. You want to be a home owner like them.

Buying your first home, it’s part of growing up and becoming more involved in your community as a property tax payer.

To start a family, to have the back yard cook outs, to use the formal dining room holidays and for birthday parties. Lots goes on in the home sweet home of your own. Where you live is where it all happens. Look at the old black and white photos in the family album. Old cars, the family homestead are in the background with all those smiling family faces.

Where do you start as a first time home buyer?

Getting ready, spending impulse control saving to buy a home is key. Protecting your credit score and debt ratios. Living below your means is how you save money like dieting to lose weight. Consistent steps taken to hit the target goal that means settle down.

Pace yourself and makes you ask yourself. How bad do you really want to be a first time home buyer?

The worry deep inside is what if I can not buy a home? Do I have what it takes? And what does it take, never done this before. No rich parents or winning lottery ticket for help to snap your fingers and just step out to buy yourself that first house.

Then the flood of questions arrive late at night about what does it take to buy those four walls with the roof and the floor on a patch of dirt?

Is it as easy as sign here and head on down to the check out exit door or hop in, drive it away like a car? No, it is a little more complicated than that buying a first home. Bad credit can be better than no credit that most young folks today struggle with trying to get pre-approved for a first time home loan. 

Another top of the list tip for first time home buyers is pick a local lender for the mortgage loan.

That local mortgage lender lives and works where the house is located. Far away, out of your real estate market area lenders do not. Costly delays happen. Not able to get a local appraiser for the house valuation can cost the sale. Eats up precious time and delays the house buying process.

Lots of extra phone calls, emails that go unanswered hurts the buying your first home dream too.

Remember too that the lower down payment home loans usually means a higher interest rate. Lots of strings attached, a longer list of lending and property standard requirements.

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Types of loans for first time home buyers include VA, FHA, USDA and conventional lending bank options.

More on Maine State Housing first time home buyer down payment assistance programs and other information. Favorable interest rates, lending assistance incentives, favorable tax breaks and more make the subsidized first time home loan program attractive.

Take advantage and bone up on the programs available for first time home buyers in your state or county. A real estate broker or agent worth their salt can show you the house buying dance steps.

VA home mortgage loans are for current and veteran service members and their eligible spouses.

The VA loan can be mixed with Maine State Housing mortgage program. To get the best of the two mortgage programs in the blend for the first time home buyer’s benefit.

These mortgages have competitive interest rates and usually require no down payment. Backed by VA loan and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, these mortgages for home buyers are issued by private lenders.

Not a veteran but still wanting to buy your first home in Maine?

Maybe it’s time for looking into the FHA home loan program will be a mortgage option for you the first time home buyer. Home ownership assistance from HUD for Maine is worth eye balling too. All of the government back but local mortgage bank loan administered first time home loans are subject to lending underwriting requirements.

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Healthy credit scores, debt ratios, gainful employment and the likelihood that will continue. All part of the eligibility for getting home loan approval or not for first timers.

Regardless of the lending program for first time home buying a house in Maine that is strapped on, the approval thumbs up not down. You need to pass the test from the get go on all the local mortgage program lending requirements.

Where you live, the US Census numbers for household incomes and size all add into the first time home buyer program eligibility bottom line.

Buying a first home before your income takes you up and out of the house buying equation. Many first time lending programs tied to your household income that has a financial ceiling cap. To stop renting,to start owning a home in Maine, it is all about timing, not just good credit, a job, savings.


The purchase plus improvement first time home buyer loans. 

Those can let you roll in the expenses on needed repairs you or the seller can not fund out of pocket too.

Lower priced houses you can afford often are ones that have issues that put them in that lower price bracket.

Gifts and loans from family members can come into the first time home buying dog and pony show picture. The National Association of REALTORS reports that for buyers age 29 to 38 buying a home, 21 percent of them used a gift from a family member to make it happen.

More on Homeworks, a non profit house buying resource that arms the borrower with lots of valuable education. Gifts to help first time home buyers come with lots of strings and verification checks and balances. Take advantage of all the programs available but realize many have government funding that comes and goes at the whim of Congress or local legislatures.

The last thing the bank making the first time home motgage loan wants is a break your legs, loan shark type fees attached to the pay back.

Where the down payment money came from, that there are no obligations to pay it back above or below the table. Making two payments, the house loan mortgage one and another borrowed fast pay back, high interest rate one. You don’t want to lose the house, there are rules in place for your own protection. 

Over extending, high debt ratios mean this house of cards could tumble and cause foreclosure. Lead to evictions and a slide back into the rent rut for the home owner who just moved out and lost the house.

Funds from your retirement 401K account could be a source of help to stop renting, start owning your own Maine home. Read the fine print, study the penalties. The pay it back time frame is like a balloon mortgage deadline where the remaining balance all becomes due.

Read carefully line by line the penalties for a loan from yourself involves. Maybe the ten percent penalty is worth it when you run the numbers to get a first home.

Many people rightfully treat that retirement IRA account as sacred.

It is or no money will be saved up for retirement which is a big deal. But first time home buyer purchases provide for up to $10,000 withdrawals to help the house hunter. Income taxes on the withdrawn money are due but no extra penalty when the money is used for building or to buy a first home.

Your Roth IRA tapped for help to buy a house from that  funding route comes without a penalty and is tax free.

IF the account for the funding used for the first time home purchase has five years or more age on it.

The local home loan mortgage lender will counsel you on what you need, how each and every bank program works. Partnering the mortgage banker with the real estate broker or agent is a beautiful thing. The buyer and property have to be in synch to make the matchmaking work.

There are three hurdles to the first time home buying real estate exercise.

1) Getting pre-approved for the home loan program. Meeting income requirement limits, satisfying mortgage underwriting standards.

2) Evaluating the home the buyer has his and her heart set on to purchase to make sure it meets mortgage loan underwriting standards.

The property must appraise for the contract price or higher.

The repairs and renovations to make the home meet the loan program lending standard requirements if not done before closing will derail the real estate sale.

You the real estate buyer can not just limp along and do the repairs slowly after you get the home loan. It’s bring the place up to standards before the real estate closing happens.

 3) Squeaky clean title to the first time home is a must so the bank will make the house mortgage loan. To issue the clear to close memo to all the layers of players signally get readym.

A first time home buyer knowing I can have this house for sale before setting foot inside it makes everything after that go smoother.

In over 41 years of helping first time home buyers get a set of real estate house keys, it is critical. To upfront know which programs for bank mortgage financing the maine real estate tipsbuyer qualifies for before house hunting starts.

Then everything turns to the study of the house I need to find them to get everyone to the real estate closing successfully. 

The toughest part of the real estate job helping first time home buyers is telling them the house you can afford is one that won’t fit the mortgage lending program you qualify for today. 

Houses for sale in the lower price ranges are sticker-ed for what they are worth.

Trying to make them fit into strict first time home loan mortgage underwriting won’t work so easily. Unless the seller is willing to step up to dump money into them to push them into the improved condition. Or the buyer has the extra funds and time to modify them before the real estate closing.

No money or willingness to invest it and time for repairs into the first time home means pull the plug. Games over. This situation can be avoided. Makes it quit before you get started because the home sale story is an unhappy one, doomed from the start.

An experience real estate agent or broker can avoid the heart ache of falling in love with a house that you will never get to own. You want to avoid heading down the wrong road and wasting your time and money.

More on bank mortgage financing your home loan, getting a mortgage on a house in Maine.

Which loan is best for the first time home buyer? What do you need to qualify for a first time home loan program? What does the house need to satisfy mortgage lending standards? It’s much more than a buyer just finding a property they like driving by on the street or from study of a real estate website.

The bank mortgage lending underwriters, the house appraiser, the attorney or title company examining the real estate title.

The house insurance agent.. they all have to sign off and weigh in to give the thumbs up green light of approval. I remember being a first time home buyer on a 3 bedroom cape in Houlton Maine. The video story buying my first home from a few years back.


Here to help sort out the numbers and do the math on your first time home buying.

To get you a set of house keys of your very own. We remember the excitement, the fears and worries too of being a first time home buyer.

Let’s discuss how to give you a hand up and out of the rent rut. Where it is a steady stream of your cash in the trash which only helps your landlord enhance his or her life. Reach out! Help for first time home buyers house hunting for a property in Maine starts with empathy, answers to questions.

I’m Maine REALTOR Andrew Mooers, ME Broker

207.532.6573 |  | 

MOOERS REALTY 69 North ST Houlton ME 04730 USA

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