Buy Your First Home
Thinking about buying your first home?
We'll help you understand your financing choices so you can make informed decisions about your first home loan.
As a homeowner, you may also be able to:
Are you better off renting or buying? Calculate the costs.
Give careful thought to these factors as well:
First-Time Homebuyer? First-time homebuyer? Sign up for a free guide.
- Educational content: We focus on helping customers understand their loan options so they can make informed financing decisions. This Learning and Planning Center gives answers to questions many first-time owners ask about the homebuying process. In addition, we offer a loan comparison tool and information about different loans and programs.
- My FirstHomeSM: We created an interactive learning experience that helps buyers consider their readiness for homeownership and learn more about all the aspects of owning a home. Start now
Your monthly mortgage payment is typically made up of four parts:
- Principal: The part of your monthly payment that reduces the outstanding balance of your mortgage.
- Interest: The part of your monthly payment that goes toward the cost of borrowing the money.
- Taxes: The part of your monthly payment that goes toward property taxes charged by your local government. We typically collect a portion of these taxes in every mortgage payment and hold the funds in an escrow account for tax payments made on your behalf as they become due.
- Insurance: The part of your monthly payment that pays for homeowners or hazard insurance, which provides protection against property damage due to wind, fire or other risks. Like taxes, insurance costs are typically collected and paid from an escrow account.
Depending upon your property location, property type and loan amount, you may incur other monthly or annual expenses such as mortgage insurance, flood insurance, and homeowners association fees.
Learn more about establishing and improving your credit
- Do you pay your bills, loans, credit cards and other debts on time?
- We examine your payment habits before deciding to loan you money.
- Your credit history and credit score are also examined prior to deciding to loan you money.
- It's a good idea to check your credit history and correct any problems before applying.
- Do you have enough funds for a down payment and closing costs?
- You may use funds from a savings account, certificate of deposit (CD), investments, and retirement fund.
- In some cases, you may be able to use gift funds toward closing costs and all or part of the down payment.
- In many cases you will also have to demonstrate that you have additional funds in your accounts to cover several months of mortgage, tax, and insurance payments.
- What is the market value of the property you want to purchase?
- We will order a property appraisal to make sure your property's value meets our underwriting requirements.
We approve applications where we believe the borrower has the ability to repay the loan or line of credit according to its terms. We use two ratio-based guidelines to evaluate your ability to repay.
Even if you fall within the 28%/36% rules of thumb, make certain that you feel comfortable making your monthly mortgage, insurance and tax payments and the payments on all your other monthly obligations. Homes have other costs—such as utilities, maintenance and repairs—that may not exist if you rent.
Creating a financial plan
First-time buyersExplore homebuying with our interactive learning experience.
Estimating what you can spend
Setting a time frame
Determine when you'd like to buy your home. Take into consideration your credit, cash flow, and savings.
Buying your first house?
Estimate how much you may be able to borrow.
Verification of this information, satisfying underwriting conditions, plus a satisfactory title search and appraisal are required for final loan approval.
Remember: Neither a preapproval nor a prequalification obligates you to borrow from Wells Fargo.
How can I benefit from a preapproval?
- You can identify and address possible qualification problems early in the homebuying process.
- Obtaining a PriorityBuyer® preapproval tells real estate agents and home sellers that you have been preapproved for a specific mortgage amount.2 Real estate agents and sellers increasingly rely on preapproval to identify serious offers.
- Provides an advantage over buyers who are not preapproved.
- Adds to your negotiating strength when you are ready to make an offer on a home.
- Lets you shop confidently because you know how much you may be able to borrow.
- May allow for a faster closing, since much of the loan work is already completed.
- Without a record of previous mortgage payments, a preapproval can help you feel much more confident pursuing your first home purchase.
- A preapproval shows the seller that a lender has already run the numbers and is willing to proceed with the mortgage.
How does the process work?
- If you're still in the early stages of house-hunting and want to know roughly about how much home you can buy, request a free mortgage prequalification.1
- If you're ready to move forward, line up your financing ahead of time with a PriorityBuyer® preapproval, which requires a credit check and a completed mortgage application.2
- Work with us online, over the phone, or in person with your local consultant.
View your loan options.
Needs and wants
Types of homes
Your real estate professional and home mortgage consultant will work together to help make buying your first home a rewarding experience.
According to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS®, the term REALTOR® identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the association, and who subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Some of the benefits of working with a REALTOR® include:
Professional assistance and representation
A REALTOR® can assess the market — house-by-house, street-by-street — with access to up-to-date information that you may not have.
A REALTOR® who understands your property and location needs can use his or her network to gather first-hand information on upcoming homes for sale.
Selling your home is a huge undertaking, especially when it comes to accurate pricing and bringing in qualified buyers. You may benefit from seeking the assistance of an experienced REALTOR®.
Have a preapproval for maximum leverage
A preapproval tells real estate agents and home sellers that you've been preapproved for a specific mortgage amount. Real estate agents and sellers increasingly rely on preapproval to identify serious offers.2
Make an offer
Working with your REALTOR®, determine the appropriate amount for your initial offer based on comparable home sales, market value, condition of the home, and your closing date.
Put your offer in writing
Handle all negotiations in writing to make sure both parties understand the terms of the agreement. If you do negotiate verbally, follow up in writing.
Submit a deposit
This "good faith" deposit demonstrates commitment to the transaction
Finalize your purchase contract
- Educational content: Our Learning and Planning Center answers many common questions about buying your first home. We also offer a loan comparison tool and information about different loans and programs.
- Get ready to apply: Find out what information you'll need to provide when you apply for a mortgage.
- Track your application: Learn how you can track your application status online.
Brent D. Miller
Home Mortgage Consultant
NMLSR ID 404017
Toll Free: 1-800-643-0528 Ext.8638
10900 NE 8TH ST Suite 1430
Bellevue, WA 98004
Total the amount of your savings
- savings and money market accounts
- stocks and bonds
- certificates of deposit