Who Qualifies as a First-Time Homebuyer?

by HOMESEARCH Realty & Investments, LLC 04/24/2022

“First-time homebuyer” is a commonly used term in all areas of real estate. But what exactly is a first-time homebuyer? Here are the specific factors that qualify somebody as a first-time homebuyer and why they are important:

Who Qualifies as a First-Time Homebuyer?

As suggested by the name, a first-time homebuyer is any person who is purchasing their main residence for the first time. First-time homebuyers fit into countless categories and demographics, but they all have the same lack of home purchase history in common. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has specific definitions for first-time homebuyers in a variety of situations, such as single parents who co-owned a home with an ex spouse or a homebuyer who may have owned property in the past but has now owned a residence for three years prior to the new sale.

Special Financial Qualifications

From a selling perspective, the most important thing about first-time homebuyers is that they often have special financial qualifications. First-time homebuyers who fall into the categories defined by the HUD can be eligible for government-sponsored financial assistance programs and special loans.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are an example of this special financial assistance. Lenders approved by the FHA can offer first-time homebuyers extremely competitive interest rates and lower down payments compared to traditional loans. The lenders also get an extra layer of security from the FHA to protect them in case the buyer defaults on the loan.

There are many types of special loans and programs first-time homebuyers qualify for. As long as they fit into the right criteria, first-time homebuyers can get approved for loans to assist them in purchasing their first home.

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