With housing prices continuing to fall and credit becoming more widely available to consumers once again, it is an ideal time for those currently renting to consider purchasing a house. The benefits of home ownership, coupled with an advantageous housing market will allow many consumers to purchase their first homes and start building equity instead of paying rent to a landlord. Many consumers mistakenly think that they cannot qualify for a home loan nor afford a house due to officious terms often cited in media sources, yet with a first time buyer mortgage home ownership is available to many that have less than stellar finances.Owning a home for the first time enables the buyer to build equity for themselves instead of paying rent and building equity for their landlord. Instead of giving someone else money every month, the equity created for the owner will open many doors for them financially in the future. An often overlooked benefit of equity accrual is the ability to consider mortgage refinancing in the future to either restructure payments or to access the cash value of such equity. Personal motivation to improve property is also rewarded in home ownership as opposed to renting, owners being able to change and improve their properties in appealing and advantageous ways that may lend themselves to higher resale values in the future.As housing prices bottom out in the near term, the increasingly stable economic environment is going to reward new home ownership and create the most affordable housing market likely to ever be seen. Many consumers anxious to purchase a home for the first time have the mistaken impression that oft bantered “rules of thumb”, such as that 10%-20% down payments are mandatory or that their mortgage payments need to be less than one-third of their disposable income, will keep them from ownership. In reality these misgivings are unfounded and many can afford a home with a first time buyer mortgage. As opposed to many traditional mortgages, a first time buyer mortgage generally requires a 3.5% down payment and it is often still possible to qualify even if your potential mortgage payment ranges as high as 50% of your gross income.It is often also a misconception that if a consumer has a first time buyer mortgage they will be unable to refinance in the future, which is just simply not true. With a focus on economic recovery the government is likely to keep interest rates low for the foreseeable future, allowing a potential buyer worried about high payments to build equity now and then as interest rates rise to consider mortgage refinancing in order to restructure their payments to maintain a manageable level. For those consumers worried about liquidity, mortgage refinancing will allow them to readily access their accumulated equity in the future.Overall the benefits of purchasing a home as a first time buyer, whether they be financial or personal freedom, are staggering. The housing market is nearing its bottom with interest rates at historic lows, there has never been a better time for consumers to buy a house and take control and benefit from their biggest monthly expense. A first time home buyer mortgage can help many with that, and allow them access to something they may have been afraid was only a dream.
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