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Information for First-time Homebuyers



Buying your first home can be exciting and overwhelming all at the same time – which is why we have a variety of tools and resources to help you through the experience. Whether you’re just starting to save or you already have a house in mind, we can help you get your keys to your first home.

Learn about the home-buying process

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Buying a home: Your 5-step guide See what to expect throughout the home buying process.
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Understanding various types of mortgages Knowing your options helps you choose the right mortgage.
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Mortgage prequalification vs. preapproval Find out how much house you can borrow before you start looking.
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How to apply for a mortgage Found a home? It's time to gather documents and lock in your rate.

Tools and Resources

Tools and Resources

From home mortgage calculators to resources like our Home Loan Navigator®, we're ready to help you every step of the way – from application to closing.
Bank of America First Time Homebuyer Online Edu-Series™
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Take the mystery out of buying your first home with our First Time Homebuyer Online Edu-Series™ featuring Bank of America specialists with Buzzfeed's Hannah Williams.

Once registered, you'll get access to videos that you can watch on demand, whenever you want wherever you want. Plus, each video comes with useful resources and tools to help make homebuying easier.

Rates & Calculators
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Knowing how much you can afford can help you feel more confident during your home search.

Find out today’s mortgage rates

Use our affordability calculator tool to see how a new home will fit into your budget

Calculate your potential monthly payment with our mortgage calculator

Be prepared for the upfront costs at closing using our closing cost calculator

Bank of America Real Estate Center®
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The Bank of America Real Estate Center® provides you with easy access to home listings from any computer or mobile device. You can keep up with your home search even when you’re on the go and take advantage of tools and resources to learn more about budgeting, saving and buying a home.

Down Payment Center
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Use the Down Payment Center to search for and review down payment and cost-saving programs offered by state and local housing agencies, nonprofit groups and employers that can help make buying a home more affordable.

The Home Loan Navigator®
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Bank of America’s Home Loan Navigator® lets you keep up to date on the status of your mortgage application, view your to-do list and complete outstanding tasks. You can also sign and submit documents electronically (it's fast, easy and secure) and receive important documents and disclosures online.

FAQs for First-time Homebuyers
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What is a P&I payment?

P&I is the principal and interest you pay your lender each month. The principal is the amount of money being borrowed. The interest is the cost of borrowing the principal. Principal and interest account for the majority of your monthly payment, which may also include escrow payments for property taxes, homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance and other costs.

What is an escrow account?

An escrow account may be required by your lender to cover future payments for items such as homeowners insurance and property taxes. An escrow account is not a fee; it accumulates funds needed to properly service your loan.

What are points?

Points (sometimes referred to as discount points or mortgage points) are paid to the lender, usually at mortgage closing, in order to lower the interest rate. One point equals one percent of the loan amount. For example, 2 points on a $100,000 mortgage equals $2,000. Learn more about mortgage points

How do I estimate my property taxes?

Your property taxes are a fixed percentage of your home’s value based on the tax assessor’s appraised value of your home. Property taxes are paid to township or county in which the home is located. You will pay this tax annually, semiannually or as part of your monthly mortgage payments (the tax portion of the payment will go into your escrow account). The local tax assessor’s office can provide you with a specific property tax rate.

Why do I need a home inspection?

The home inspection is an added expense that some first-time homebuyers don’t expect and might feel safe declining, but professional inspectors often notice things most of us don’t. This step is especially important if you’re buying an existing home as opposed to a newly constructed home, which might come with a builder’s warranty. If the home needs big repairs you can’t see, an inspection helps you negotiate with the current homeowner to have the issues fixed before closing or adjust the price accordingly so you have extra funds to address the repairs once you own the home.

Why does my lender require homeowners insurance?

Homeowners insurance is a contract that protects both you and your lender in case of loss or damage to your property. The contract is known as an insurance policy, and the periodic payment is known as an insurance premium. The monthly homeowners insurance premium is often included as part of the monthly mortgage payment, with the insurance portion of the payment going into your escrow account.

Our most popular home loan options:

Fixed-rate mortgages

  • Set interest rate for the life of the loan

  • Your monthly payments of principal and interest remain the same for the life of the loan

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs)

  • Interest rate may change periodically during the loan term

  • Your monthly payment may increase or decrease based on interest rate changes

Affordable Loan Solution® mortgage

  • Down payment as low as 3% (income limits apply)

  • No mortgage insurance required

FHA & VA loans

  • Government loans from the Federal Housing Administration and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

  • Low down payment options with flexible credit and income guidelines

Ready to prequalify for a mortgage?
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