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Building Community Blog

Congratulations, you’re a homeowner!

You paid your down payment, signed on the dotted lines, and are now holding the keys to your very own home. But now what do you do? Can you move in right away? Should you move in right away? You followed a lot of steps to become a homeowner, but there are a few final steps to take before you can sit back, relax, and enjoy homeownership.

Note: You don't have to complete any of these before moving your belongings into your home if you don't want to (although it may be easier for painting and floor installation). In fact, it's safest to occupy your new home as soon as possible to prevent crime.

Buying a house can be one of the most exciting moments in your life, especially if it’s your first home! Learning the basics of real estate before you start searching for a home can save you time and keep you clear of common headaches down the road. Here are a few house hunting tips as you begin your search, because once you’re out looking at houses, things get exciting fast!

If you're shopping for a home today, you may have noticed a lot of other people looking at homes during your house hunt. That's because the housing market is very hot right now! A busy housing market means sellers may likely receive several offers on the same day and have to decide which one to accept. Some sellers will take the highest offer, but others may be swayed by a buyer who pays earnest money.

Don't know what earnest money is? That's what we're here to explain! Here are the basics.

Buying a home is an exciting investment, but paying for the down payment can be a challenge. If your purchase includes a down payment, it's important that you pay the full amount — whether it's 3%, 20%, or somewhere in between — because it shows the lender that you are able to save money and are willing to put some “skin in the game”.

However, saving that much money can take some time. Due to that, many prospective buyers often look for shortcuts — a gift from a family member, use retirement savings, or take out a loan from your 401K account.

If these options are not available to you, you may have questioned whether you can take out a personal loan to fund your down payment. Although it is possible, we do not recommend it. Here’s why:

If you have learned that you're eligible for the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity Homeownership Program, you will still need to submit your application. In order to do that, you'll need to collect and send the required materials.

To make your application process a little easier, we've listed all the materials and some helpful tips on where to find them.

The first time you buy a house you may hear several terms you don't know. One of these terms is home equity. While it may be a little confusing at first, it's important to understand these terms before closing on a house.

So, what is home equity? Why is it important? How can you build your home’s equity? And what does market value have to do with it?

Have you (or someone you know) been interested in Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity's homeownership program, but you have a few questions first? You've come to the right place. 

We've compiled some of the top questions we've received from people who are interested in Habitat homeownership. Check them out and see if they answer your questions.

Photos by Paul Dinndorf

Having a good understanding of basic real estate concepts will help you feel confident in the choices you make when buying your first house.

You will likely make a down payment on the property, usually 20% of the value of the house, but could be as low as 3.5% with some mortgage products. The rest of the money for the house is likely to come from a mortgage loan.

Who your mortgage lender is and what kind of loan you take out matters. Here are seven common mistakes that can impact whether or not you get the best deal on your first home.

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