John T. Murray
Coldwell Banker Realty 202.329.6363 202.387.6180

Coldwell has found that affordability is probably the single biggest concern of today's first-time home buyers. Given the wide range of media coverage regularly devoted to the issue, it's not surprising that many young families wonder how long it will take them to afford their first home.

Plus, hidden fees or taxes can add up. Usually, the total amount of the previous year's property taxes is included on the listing information sheet for the home you're interested in. If not, ask to see the seller's receipt. Remember, tax rates change from year to year, so the previous year's bill should be considered simply as a "ballpark" figure of what you would pay. For a more precise projection, call the local assessor's office for assistance.

Our advice: Don't sell yourself short. Talk to your real estate agent. A good agent is committed to honestly and responsibly working with you to determine your affordable price range. There are many financing options available today, and some include low down payments. Your agent will help find an option that fits your budget, and you may be surprised at just how much home you can afford.

In addition, Fannie Mae offers a helpful, free app called HOME that helps you prepare for the home buying process.

Our mortgage partners
Home buyers who are pre-qualified gain a competitive advantage when it comes time to negotiate a home purchase. Through one of our mortgage partners, we can help determine what loan programs will work for you before you even have a house selected.

Once you go through the pre-approval process and provide us with some information about yourself, we pull and analyze a credit report. We can then determine the maximum loan amount you qualify for, and if you meet the guidelines of our mortgage programs, you will be pre-approved for a loan.

This demonstrates your financial ability to purchase a home and will help you during the home buying process. Final approval is subject to applicable secondary market credit and property requirements.