Rules for first-time home buyers - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Rules for first-time home buyers

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(WWBT) -

More than a third of all home buyers are going through it for the first-time. It can be a scary process, but it doesn't have to be.

If you're considering putting down roots in Richmond, you really want to have a good understanding of what your month to month finances look like. 

A good rule of thumb is to not spend any more than a third of your net income on your house payment each month. If your full family paycheck brings in around $3,500 a month, you wouldn't want a monthly house payment more than $1,166. 

"So your house payment usually includes four pieces, principle, interest, taxes, and insurance. All four of those should comprise that one-third of your net income," said Cherry Dale with the Virginia Credit Union.

Dale also says to meet with a loan officer early in the process so they can look at your individual situation and give you the best idea of what you can really afford.  When it comes to down payments you may even qualify for a few specialized loans. 

Ultimately, you'd like to have 20 percent for a down payment on a house, but that can be a huge amount and unrealistic for most people. 

However, even having just 3 percent of your purchase price is a good place to start. 

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