Pennsylvania Home Buyer

First time home buyer programs in PA

Nice Pennsylvania house with a sold signBuying a home is exciting, overwhelming, and possibly frightening, because a home is more than just a house or condominium that you live in. It’s one more step in life’s journey. Homes are special places where children are born and babies take their first steps across the living room floor. Homes are where brides are carried across the threshold, and holidays are celebrated. Home is “where the heart is”.

Buying a home is called the American dream, and rightfully so. There are other benefits of homeownership.

According to Robert D. Dietz, author of The Social Consequences of Homeownership

1. Children of homeowners are likely to perform higher on academic achievement test and are more likely to finish high school. They also have fewer behavioral problems in school and are less likely to become pregnant as teenagers.

2. Homeowners are more satisfied with their lives and are happier. Homeownership is positively associated with physical, mental, and emotional health.

3. Political activity (voting, civic participation) is higher among homeowners than renters are. High level of neighborhood homeownership enhances property values. Source- NeighborWorks

The home buying process can be confusing. You hear words like, escrow, tax prorations, deed transfer tax, and title insurance to name a few. The first step to homeownership is to gather your personal papers and step two is to be preapproved by a mortgage loan officer. The lender will want to see the following:

  • Income tax returns for the previous two years.
  • Paystubs for the previous 30 days.
  • All bank statements including IRA and 401K statements covering the previous 60 days
  • Divorce, settlement, and child support agreements.
  • Alimony, pension, retirement distribution, and social security;

In short, the loan officer will want to see all information that relates to income and debt obligation.

Why does the mortgage company and loan officer need all this information?

The reason is to determine the maximum amount of money that you can borrow. That does not mean that you have to borrow the maximum, but the lender wants to give you a lending range. The lender also needs to determine the different loan options for you. The FHA home loan is a great to finance a home with a low down payment, low cash to close, and a very low credit score. The USDA, VA, and conventional loans also have lending requirements. The amount of money you can borrow depends on your credit score, available cash for the down payment (if necessary), and employment. Lenders use a formula called debt to income to estimate the ideal monthly mortgage payment based on the loan program.

Preapproval (also call prequalification) requires an examination of your credit report and credit score. Even if you have credit blemishes, lenders can sometimes boost a credit score by instructing you to pay down or payoff some monthly bills. That’s another reason loan officers want to know the amount of available cash. Some loan programs are more accepting of poor credit.

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Does Pennsylvania have loan programs for first time homebuyers?

You bet. The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) provides mortgage money for first time homebuyers and non-first time homebuyers. PHFA also has a closing cost and down payment grant program. There are 67 counties in Pennsylvania and many counties either offer a home loan program and/or down payment and assistance grant program. Read more

How much does it cost to buy a house?

It all depends on the loan program, your credit score, and down payment. I created a buyer cost calculator to give you a good estimate of the total costs involved in the purchase a home.


What is title insurance and why do I need it?

Mortgage lenders will require a "title insurance" policy for your home. Title insurance protects the lender and owner against ownership issues. For example, what if the seller is not really the seller, but someone posing as the seller. Or, what if the property boundaries are incorrect. The cost of title insurance is established by the Pennsylvania Insurance Commission. Read more

What is a deed transfer tax?

Pennsylvania charges a tax on the sale of real estate. Think of it as a sales tax. One percent is charged by the state and most municipalities and school districts jointly charge another 1%. There are a few exceptions. Read more

What is a HUD home?

HUD homes are houses that were reposed by the Housing and Urban Development Agency (HUD). HUD homes were financed by an FHA home loan that fell into foreclosure. HUD homes can be purchased through an action. HUD homes can be a great buy. Read more

What does pmi and mip stand for?

Nobody want private mortgage insurance (PMI) or MIp (mortgage insurance premium), however, depending on the down payment or loan program, the monthly cost is unavoidable. Read more


Mortgage closing costs calculator for PA

Just how much does it cost to buy a home in Pennsylvania? Use the mortgage and closing cost calculator to estimate the down payment, closing costs and monthly payment for an FHA, VA, USDA and conventional home loan? PA Loan Calculator

What percentage of your salary should go to a mortgage payment

Lenders use a calculation call "debt to income" to estimate how much your monthly loan payment should be in relation to your monthly income. Debt to Income Calculator

Pennsylvania Title Rate Insurance Calculator

Use the title insurance calculator to estimate the cost of title insurance in Pennsylvania. PA Title Insurance Rate Calculator

USDA Home Loan Calculator

USDA home loans are a great way to purchase a home because no down payment is required to purchase a home with a USDA loan. Use the USDA Home Loan Calculator to estimate the USDA mortgage amount and monthly payment.

VA Home Loan Calculator

Veterans and real estate agents can easily estimate the mortgage amount and monthly mortgage payments for eligible veterans. VA Home Loan Calculator

Mortgage Payment Comparison Calculator

Compare interest rates, loan terms (i.e. 15, 20, 25 & 30 year) with the Mortgage Payment Comparison Calculator

Mortgage Loan Affordability Calculator

 Simple tool to estimate mortgage affordability. Mortgage loan affordability calculator

FHA Mortgage Calculator for Pennsylvania

Easily calculate the FHA mortgage and monthly loan payment for all 67 PA counties. FHA Mortgage Calculator for Pennsylvania

FHA Streamline Net Tangible Benefit Calculator

The FHA refinance rules have changed. The Federal Housing Administration requires a "net tangible benefit" for streamline FHA refinance loans. The FHA Streamline Net Tangible Benefit Calculator will estimate whether the refinance is allowed under the new refinance rules

Amortization Calculators with Extra Payments

How fast can you pay off your mortgage with an extra payment each month? Use the Amortization Calculators with Extra Payment and find out

Year To Date Income Calculator

Easily convert year to date income into monthly income. The Year To Date Income Calculator will convert weekly, every other week, and twice a month earnings into monthly income. Year To Date Income Calculator

Mortgage interest rate comparison chart

Mortgage pre approval

How much does it cost to buy a house in Pennsylvania?

Use the PA mortgage calculator to estimate the down payment, closing costs and monthly payment for FHA, VA, USDA & conventional loans.Closing cost calculator

First time home buyer classes listed by county

Learn about Pennsylvania's home buying programs. Read more

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