First-Time Homebuyer

Get top first-time home buying tips from our home loan experts

Get your search for a new home off to the right start with basic information you need to know about buying a home.

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Secure a down payment.

Since you don’t have equity from a current home to apply as a down payment, you’ll need other down payment options. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veterans Administration (VA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have set up valuable programs that serve to alleviate the need for large amounts of ready cash.

Other options include down payment assistance programs and low-to-moderate-income programs.

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Get preapproved.

With loan preapproval,* you’ll know exactly how much home you can afford, so you can shop with more confidence. Check with an Evergreen Home Loans™ loan officer and see if you qualify for our Security Plus Seller Guarantee®. Sellers sometimes prefer offers featuring our Security Plus Seller Guarantee over higher proposals.

Before your visit with an Evergreen loan officer, have the following items ready:

  • Your most recent pay stub (or stubs if buying a home jointly with a spouse)
  • W-2 statements for the last two years
  • Bank statements for the last two months (all pages)
  • Year-to-date profit/loss and balance sheets (if you’re self-employed or work commission sales), as well as tax returns for the last two years
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Find a qualified real estate agent.

If you don’t already have a professional real estate agent working for you, we can help you find one. The right agent will search listings with your priorities and goals in mind, from a fenced backyard to a walk-in closet.

* Depending on your personal circumstances, more or less information may be required. Preapproval is not a commitment to lend and is subject to satisfactory loan conditions, including a completed application and property appraisal. Other terms and restrictions apply. Not all products available. Security Plus Seller Guarantee: Applies to purchase loans only. To qualify, the buyer’s Security Plus Approval/Seller Guarantee Addendum must have been issued by Evergreen Home Loans, and the seller shall have executed the addendum with his or her signature at the time the seller executes the Purchase And Sale Agreement on the subject property. Certain loan types do not qualify for this offer. Restrictions apply. Ask for details.

First-time homebuyer FAQs

What is the best way to get preapproved for a home loan?

Meet with a home loan expert who can help answer questions you may have and guide you through the process.

What home loan options are available?

There are a variety of financing options to buy a home, including conventional, jumbo, FHA, USDA and VA home loans. You may qualify for multiple loan types, and it’s important to make sure you understand each one. A home loan expert can help you identify an option that’s suited for your unique situation and needs.

What is a title search?

Before buying a home, you’ll need to verify who owns and has the right to sell the property. A title company will perform a title search to safeguard that no other party can come forward as the owner. A title report is given once the title search is complete and ownership is verified.

What is a home appraisal?

Typically, a home appraisal is a visual inspection of a home to determine how much the home is worth. During the inspection, the square footage is determined, and the floor plan, neighborhood, and current trends for similar homes in the housing market are taken into consideration

Read our Buying a Home FAQs.

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