First-Time Homebuyer Tips

Content provided by Bellco Home Loans

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, chances are you have a lot of questions, including where to begin. If you already have an idea of what you’re looking for and how much you’re generally looking to spend, congratulations, you’re ahead of the game. Bellco Credit Union’s affiliated mortgage company, Bellco Home Loans, offers some sage advice for first-time homebuyers looking to save time, money, and heartache when purchasing a home.

Bellco Home Loans is a collaboration between Bellco Credit Union and Cherry Creek Mortgage, an independent mortgage lender that has helped families attain home ownership since 1960. Bellco Home Loans was born from a desire to provide a premier mortgage experience for Bellco’s members by partnering with a leading mortgage company with an established reputation in the industry. Cherry Creek Mortgage was recently purchased by Guild Mortgage, but that same level of service will continue.

Do I need a 20% down payment to get a mortgage for my first home?

No. There are many loan programs available to members through Bellco Home Loans that don’t require a 20% down payment. These may include, but are not limited to Fannie Mae First Time Homebuyer programs, FHA, VA, and Colorado Housing and Finance Authority loan programs. Depending on the program and your qualification, you may need a down payment as low as a 3%—and in some cases, even less than that!

Are there programs or assistance for down payments?

Yes! There are down payment assistance programs that may be available for first time homebuyers. In addition, you may be able to use gifts from relatives as funds for down payments and even closing costs!

How much home can I afford?

The home you can afford depends on many factors including purchase price, interest rates, loan term, type of loan, and more. Bellco Home Loans can help you determine how much home you may be able to afford.

This Home Affordability Calculator can help determine the home price and monthly housing cost you can afford. Try it out for yourself!

This calculator is provided for general and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal, tax, or investment advice.  The accuracy of this online tool and its applicability to the information provided is an estimate and is not guaranteed. Your actual figures (i.e., monthly payments, total payments, home value, etc.) could vary based on many factors.

Can a seller help a buyer with the purchase of a home?

Yes. In this current real estate market (Q1 2023), some individuals are so eager to sell their home, they’ll help in different ways such as providing funds for closing costs, or even providing funds for temporary or permanent interest-rate reductions! These are typically called “sales concessions.” Ask your Bellco Home Loan Representative and real estate agent about the possibility of an interest-rate buydown.

Who pays the real estate agents’ commissions?

The seller typically pays the commission for all real estate agents working on the purchase, even the real estate agent assisting you. This will allow you to save money that you can use for your down payment and or closing costs.

With all of the interest rate news, should I wait to buy a home?

That depends on you, the buyer. With the higher rates, homes are staying on the market a little longer. This can give a seller greater incentive to provide sales concessions for the purchase of a home. Additionally, with homes on the market a little longer, you may have more time to make a decision and a better opportunity of finding that special first home.   

If you’re interested in learning more about the options available to you for getting into a first home, reach out to a Bellco Home Loans officer today.

Bellco Home Loans is an equal housing opportunity lender. All applications subject to approval. Bellco Home Loans, LLC, NMLS #2085298.