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!

Julie at Integrity Mortgage group was easy to work with. She has help in refinancing our home and has been constantly supportive in looking at options for us during the last few years. Julie’s style of requesting everything up front proved to be a great value and time saver. Prior to working with Integrity Mortgage, we had worked with another company which constantly asked for more and more files as we went through the process. This constant request for more details delayed our process and cost me money to extend the lock we had. Julie was able to ask the right questions and gather everything she needed to make sure her lenders would have anything and everything they needed to process the loan.

- Alyson Pattie

Our realtor suggested Julie Vari, because she had dealt with her in the past and always had positive outcomes. Well, she was correct, Julie is awesome. She doesn't string things along; she's straight to the point and gets things done. She is dedicated and very helpful. So dedicated, in fact, she was on vacation with her family (in Disney World might I add) and was taking calls from our realtor and escrow company. Total team player - she's a keeper. We would highly recommend Julie!

- Jacqueline Larsen

I normally don’t leave reviews, but I need to give credit where credit is do! I have refinanced at least 4 home loans with Integrity Mortgage and it has been seamless to say the least. John Parks has been our loan officer for all 4 refis and he has always gone the extra mile for us every time. He has an excellent work ethic and a high level of integrity and knowledge base within the industry. I can tell you with confidence, John will give you the best loan package and/or refi that’s available based on your financial situation!

Thank you John for saving us a ton of money over the years and for always batting for us! You are the very best!!!

- Carlos Carrio

I worked with Brian Passman at Integrity Mortgage Group and was completely blown away by his knowledge of the industry, his professionalism, his ability to keep me in the loop at every stage of the loan, but most importantly, listening to my wants and needs and getting me a loan that checked off all my boxes. I am very happy and will be a repeat customer.

- Doug Cerri

John was great to work with, made the process simple and smooth. He took the time to explain in detail all the information, made me and my wife feel comfortable moving forward with each step of the process. If you are looking for an individual who goes beyond, you need to work with John. I will be coming back in the future. Thanks again.

- Andrew Lindstrom

Had the pleasure of working with Pete at Integrity Mortgage on a reverse mortgage. It was seamless and clearly the best option for me!

- Laurie Armijo

I rarely write a review, but felt it was important to share the really great experience I had in working with Chris Naylor and the Integrity Mortgage team. Buying a house is such an important decision, as it will be your new home – and for me, it was after the passing of both of my parents (7 days apart). Chris worked closely with me during the offer process and making sure I was able to move forward and act quickly when it came to finding the right home and making a strong offer.

Most importantly, I shopped around for the best rates and Chris beat these, so I not only felt I had a consultative partner during the offer process, but felt confident in the getting the best loan rate in the market through Chris. Chris and his team were also on time during each step of the purchase and escrow process to ensure as the buyer, the seller’s timeline and needs were met.

I highly recommend working with Chris and his team, who are sharp, creative and kind – and will help you in not only buying a property by finding a home for you and your family. I look forward to working with Chris again in the future.

- Martin Pellinat

I have had the pleasure of refinancing with Pete Muzzy multiple times over the past 3-4 years and I feel so blessed to have found him. For starters, he is extremely knowledgeable, responsive, dependable, thorough, kind, patient, non-judgmental, & trustworthy. He walks you through every step of the way and never pressures. He provides you with every potential scenario to arm you with sufficient info to make an informed decision you can feel comfortable with. Words cannot truly describe the total experience, so I HIGHLY recommend contacting Pete so you can see for yourself - he really knows his stuff. I guarantee you will not regret it!!

- Gerrie Tobias

I've been working with Skip at Integrity for over 12 years. He has helped me with a refinance and purchase. I'm in the process of purchasing another house now and wouldn't use anyone other than Skip. Skip and the Integrity team provide some of the best service I've experienced. Skip is available 24/7 and always responds within minutes. He is on top of everything with excellent communication to the lender, the escrow company and my real estate agent ensuring a flawless closing. Even my real estate agent (who works with many lenders) commented on how responsive and thorough Skip is. Over the past many years, I've referred Skip to several of my close friends and my family and they couldn't have been happier with their experience. I would highly recommend Skip and Integrity and wouldn't work with anyone else for my home loan needs.

- Kathy Kealer

I have been working with Julie for 8 years she has helped me with 2 home loans and have gotten me the best rates in town. Every time I call her she takes the time and makes sure I understand everything she is telling me. She funds the deals early. I'm very happy with her service. Thank you for all your hard work!!

- Steve klapproth

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!