Photo: Depositphotos.
Photo: Depositphotos.

What Do You Need to Know If You Are Looking to Become a Homeowner?

The housing market is different today than it was a few years ago, and there are many things to consider when buying.


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The pandemic has impacted nearly all facets of life, with the homebuying market among the many.

While interest rates have been increasing, according to WSFS, now may still be a good time for first-time homebuyers to look into purchasing. 

WSFS has provided a few tips for those looking to get started: 

  • Weigh Your Options: Is renting or buying the better option? With the rise in rent and challenges in finding affordable housing, weighing your personal finances, current or desired location, and anticipated future earning power can help determine the answer. 
  • Know What You Can Afford: Once you take a deep dive into your finances, considering different loan types, specialized government programs for loans and home buying is the next step. Once you access what you can afford, factor in monthly payment costs and see where you stand. 
  • Rediscover Alternative Loans: First-time homebuyers may have the option of adjustable-rate mortgages to mitigate the monthly costs of higher home values and interest rates. With each potential option, it is essential to have conversations to determine the best one. 

Even with this in mind, the process can still get expensive for many.

To help ease the burden, WSFS has a Down Payment Grant Program that helps borrowers who qualify with up to $10,000 to help account for down payments and closing costs when buying a home.

To be eligible for a WSFS Down Payment Grant, borrowers’ income must be at 80% or below the Area Median Income (AMI) and the property must be located in Majority-Minority Census Tracts (MMCT) within the following counties in the Greater Philadelphia and Delaware region:

  • Delaware – Kent, New Castle and Sussex
  • New Jersey – Burlington and Camden
  • Pennsylvania – Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia

There is also the Neighborhood Opportunity Program designed to assist individuals and families with limited income or who are purchasing in low- and moderate-income areas.

Features include low down payment options, minimal reserves, a homebuyer education program, competitive mortgage rates, and more. 

“These grants provide borrowers with important access to funds that can help them buy a home,” says Ron Dutton, senior vice president and director of community reinvestment for WSFS Bank. “We’re committed to helping buyers with low- and- moderate income in eligible geographic areas use these grants to find their dream home.”

The WSFS Down Payment Grant funds do not require repayment and can be combined with other down payment assistance programs, such as the First Front Door Down Payment Assistance Program, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage programs, and other state, county and employer-assisted housing initiatives.

The WSFS Neighborhood Opportunity Program can also be combined with a down payment grant and offers qualified homebuyers help with low down payment options, competitive rates, and in some cases, no private mortgage insurance to not only make the initial home purchase more affordable, but to keep monthly payments more manageable.

For individuals looking to buy a home, there are many resources available to help throughout the process, including scheduling an appointment with your local bank to discuss available options.  


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