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The key to first-time homebuying is knowledge

Learning about the market, your budget, and options can go a long way toward fulfilling your home-buying goal.

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The process of becoming a first-time homeowner can be a challenging process for most.

From understanding the market to budgeting and financing, a lot goes into finally closing the deal on buying a new home. 

This is why having experts and resources handy can go a long way toward easing the stress of that process.

WSFS has provided three key factors to keep in mind if you are planning to buy a new home:

  • Higher Mortgage Rates: Mortgage rates have continued to climb overall, with some ebbs and flows mixed in. This has resulted in higher monthly payments for most borrowers. You should dive into your finances with your mortgage lender to determine true closing costs to ensure your home purchase doesn’t stretch your budget too thin. 
  • Material and Labor Costs: If your new home needs some repairs or remodeling, keep in mind costs of materials, and labor costs, for non-DIY projects. With inflation, material costs are likely higher and it’s possible that contractors’ labor demands are as well. Consider tackling smaller projects that are less cost-prohibitive first and tackle the larger, more expensive ones later.
  • Home Furnishing Prices: Inflation also plays a role in the cost of furniture and other household items. An option can be to hit the spring yard sale circuit to add a personal touch to your new home without breaking the bank. Places like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore could be a year-round resource, too.

WSFS has also established the Neighborhood Opportunity Program and Down Payment Grant Program, designed to help individuals and families with limited income realize their dreams of owning a home. 

“Partnerships among community organizations, lenders and realtors is crucial for helping buyers gain access to the funds they need to become homeowners,” said Helen Dwyer, mortgage loan officer for WSFS Mortgage. “I encourage all potential homebuyers to really dig into the details with your mortgage lender and realtor, lean on their expertise to help find the additional resources and funds that may be available.”

She often advises first-time homebuyers to trust the process and go through a first-time homebuyer program to learn as much as they can. 

Nick Velecico, CRA Mortgage Loan Officer for WSFS Mortgage, has worked with several customers who were looking to buy their first home. 

He credits those customers' success to them doing the necessary research “to find money that you might not otherwise know is available to you.”

“That research includes finding a lending partner who has your best interests in mind,” Velecico added. 

He shared that organizations like the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) are great resources to get started. 

There are several steps toward owning a new home, and the more you know, the better. 

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