Home Seeker Resources

Help for first-time home buyers

So you’ve decided to buy a home – what’s next?

Most likely, if you’ve made the decision to buy a home, you’ve been looking at homes for sale. Maybe you’ve already found the one you want, and are ready to take the next steps towards home ownership. You may have these questions: How do I work with a real estate agent? How do I qualify for a mortgage loan? How do I shop for a mortgage? What documents will I need to apply for a loan? We can help.

First: do you know your credit rating? Your credit report has information on it that affects whether you can get a loan, and how much you will have to pay to borrow money. You should know what’s on your credit report, and make sure the information is accurate before you apply for a loan to buy a home.

You are allowed by federal law to get a free credit report every 12 months from one of the three nationwide credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion). You may request your credit report by visiting annualcreditreport.com, or by calling 1-877-322-8228, toll-free. You’ll need to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. If you have moved in the last two years, you may have to provide your previous address. If you request your report online at annualcreditreport.com, you should be able to access it immediately. If you call the toll-free number to order one, it will be mailed to you within 15 days.

Next: do you know your homeownership numbers? Take a look at our home ownership guide to determine how much mortgage you can afford before buying.

How Much Mortgage Can You Afford?

Ready to take the plunge? Download our new homebuyer info packet that contains application forms from BHC and our partner Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) of Virginia, as well as income limits and other information to help you get on your way.

Download Our Homebuyer Info Packet

Do’s and Don’ts for Home Buying

In this brief video, Julie Howarth from network member UNHS NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center in Utica, NY, clears up myths and gives homebuyers the real scoop on buying a home. Check it out!