• Find Your Loan Consultant

  • Find Your Loan Consultant



There are plenty of good reasons to want to buy a home. Whether you’re interested in building generational wealth within your family or investing in an asset you can sell later as you move up, we’re here to help.

With the right information and a specialist to guide you, buying your first home can be a smooth process.

You don’t have to know everything
before you get started.

Your Caliber Home Loans, Inc. Loan Consultant will be with you every step of the way, explaining your options and making educated recommendations.

First-Time Homebuyer Tips
Step 1

Explore the best down payment strategy for you

Your down payment depends largely on the type of loan you’re applying for, the home’s cost, and your finances. The more you can put toward a down payment, the lower your interest rate and monthly payment will be. 

While you can choose to put down 20% or more, the median down payment for first-time homebuyers is 7%.1 You can also put down as little as 3% for your home’s down payment with a conventional loan.2

A lower down payment will likely allow you to close earlier without having to save up a large sum. And while your interest rate may increase, this option can still be worthwhile. 

By putting more down, your loan will cost less, you’ll be able to get a lower interest rate, and you may not have private mortgage insurance (PMI) added to your payments. If you put less than 20% down, you’ll likely need PMI, which will be a monthly fee added to your mortgage payments until you’ve put 20% of equity into your home. 

1 Freddie Mac, Do I Need to Put Down 20% on a Home?https://myhome.freddiemac.com/blog/homeownership/20200922_down_payments.page

2 Forbes, How Big Should Your Down Payment Be? https://www.forbes.com/advisor/mortgages/how-big-a-down-payment-on-a-home-should-you-make/ 

Affordability Calculator

Determine how much home you can afford without breaking your budget.

Get an Estimate
Affordability Calculator
Step 2

Decide what you want most in a home

Here are some of the most common loan types and their requirements.

Loan Type Conventional HomeOneSM Home Possible® HomeReadyTM FHA
Overview Good if you have a high credit score and steady employment history. Low down payment. Not limited to a traditional residence. Low down payment and lower credit scores. Low-to-moderate income, reduced down payment and PMI rates, flexible co-borrower options. Good for first-time homebuyers looking for relaxed requirements.
Down Payment 5-20% 3% 3% 3% 3.5%
Considerations Strict lender requirements. Homebuyer education required. Homebuyer education required. Homebuyer education required. PMI required.

Find a Loan Consultant in your area today.

Learn what you need to take the next step.

Step 3 

Get a pre-qualification or a pre-approval for a home loan

Before you start shopping for a home, you can get pre-qualified for a locked-in loan or get a pre-approval letter. 

A pre-qualification will provide you with an estimate of how much money you’re eligible to borrow for a home and which loan options are best for you. 

A pre-approval is the best thing to have on-hand to prove your creditworthiness to a seller and lender. This requires a short application process and a credit check. In return, you’ll receive an official pre-approval letter and an estimated amount of money you can borrow to purchase your home. Having a pre-approval letter shows sellers you’re serious about buying a home. 

Once you’re a little closer to being ready to apply for financing, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is your next step. You can complete a quick and easy mortgage application online. Then a Loan Consultant will reach out to you to ask you a few questions and verify all your information. You’ll also need to supply necessary documentation to complete the process. They will perform a credit check, and if you’re approved, you’ll receive a pre-approval letter to lend you a specific amount. This step gives you a clearer picture of your budget and the homes you can afford. 

Get an idea of how much home you can afford with our Affordability Calculator.  

Ready to move forward?

Get a better view.

Step 4

Start your home search

When shopping for a home, think about what you want and make a list. 

For example, do you want to be close to work? Do you want a big yard? Is it important to find a quiet place away from loud downtown areas? If you’re planning to buy a home with a partner, make this list together and prioritize what features are most important, and which are negotiable. 

Caliber has teamed up with the experts at ComeHome to provide you with an easy way to search for homes by price range, area, size, and more.


Step 5

Make an offer on a home

Once you’ve found the home you want and are ready to make an offer, your real estate agent will help you craft an official offer document with the price you’re willing to pay, the proposed settlement date, and any contingencies. 

It’s not uncommon for sellers to get multiple offers on one property. This is where a pre-approval letter comes in handy. It shows the seller that you’re a serious buyer and have done your paperwork – which may help you stand out against other potential buyers.


Close on your loan and make yourself at home!

Close on your loan and make yourself at home

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