Buying your first home is nerve-wracking for everyone. The process itself can seem quite daunting. This is especially true when you consider that it can differ quite a bit from state to state. Most of the states have particular programs and grants for first-time homebuyers. If you are making such a big financial commitment for the first time, you want it to go without a hitch. Once you have made the decision to purchase a home in the Great Lakes State, you want to thoroughly familiarize yourself with the buying process for first-time homebuyers in Michigan. This guide should provide some basic information and tips on buying your first home in Michigan.

First Time Home Buyer Tips

Know what you’re looking for

You shouldn’t really embark upon this home buying journey unless you have some idea of what you are looking for. It is good to have a general idea of the neighborhood, as well as the size and type of home you would like to buy. However, one of the common mistakes people make preparing to buy a house is going into too much detail before looking. This can make it really difficult to actually find a home for yourself. If you have a fixed idea, a few places will be able to fit your criteria.

So the key is in having a general idea as well as what your definite deal breakers would be, what you couldn’t live without. Scrolling through some of the properties that have been put up online for the area you’re interested in might be a good way to crystallize your vision. It will also provide you with some information for the next step – your budget.

Know your budget

There are online mortgage calculators that can help you determine what your monthly payments would look like. Try to find how much the utilities would be as well. This will help you get a clear idea of what you can afford. Some experts suggest not using more than 25 percent of your income on housing. Getting your financials in order might actually be the most difficult part of the buying process for first-time homebuyers in Michigan.

Hire a real estate agent

Getting a real estate agent to guide you through the buying process for first-time homebuyers in Michigan will make things much easier for you. They will be able to show you properties that may not be listed anywhere else as well as advise you. The negotiations will also be much easier through someone and they’ll be able to aid you through the administrative process. Making an offer and closing the deal are things you don’t really want to do all on your own.

Find good movers

It might seem unnecessary, but it could be a good idea to figure out what you want to do for your move even before you have put down a down payment. The more you can get out of the way early on, the better. You should visit several websites like and get acquainted with what different moving companies offer. You can compare them and see where you’ll get the most bang for your buck.

If you’re preparing to buy a house in Michigan and live a long way from it, it might be particularly useful to deal with some things even before the purchase. It might not necessarily be a part of the buying process for first-time homebuyers in Michigan, but if you do it, it will be one headache less. For example, if you are moving all the way from Pittsburgh to Michigan, you will want someone to take care of this tiring process for you. This way you can point your attention elsewhere, like to organizing your finances.

Get pre-approved for a loan

Getting pre-approved is among the key first-time homebuying tips. This is true even if you are not buying property for the first time. Getting this piece of paper will put you in a much better position with the sellers. They will take you more seriously and will be more likely to go with your offer. This is also something you could do even before looking at houses. It will also make it easier to buy a home in a competitive market.

You should get your paperwork ready – everything from pay stubs, W-2s, bank account statements and tax returns for the past two years to your credit lines and the information for your landlords for the past two years. Much like with the moving companies, you should definitely meet with different bank representatives and see who gives you the best offer. Be aware that the amount the lender approves for you is the absolute maximum you can spend, and not what you should spend.

Michigan first time home buyer programs

As mentioned at the beginning of our guide through the buying process for first-time homebuyers in Michigan, there is a wide variety of programs for both down payments and mortgages available. We will try to acquaint you with some of the basics that are on offer. The first thing you need to know is that you can qualify as a first time home buyer even if you have owned a property before. You can qualify unless you had something in your name in the previous three years.

When it comes to down payment assistance, the state of Michigan offers several programs. Michigan First Home Down Payment Assistance Program offers up to $7,000 for a down payment and closing costs. Chenoa Down Payment Assistance Program offers up to 3.5% assistance for down payment and closing costs. A quick Google search will provide you with more information and let you know if you are eligible.

There is plenty of both nation- and state-wide programs for assistance with mortgage payments for first time home buyers. Different institutions work with different lenders. With some time and effort, however, you will be able to compare your options. Once you’ve done your due diligence, you’ll be able to make the right decision for yourself. There are many resources online which will help you determine your eligibility and make your calculations.

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