Tips For First Time Home Buyers

Tips For First Time Home Buyers

A new home may be the largest investment you make. It can be a daunting process. If you are considering that new home, here are some selected resources that will help you begin your journey. Once the decision is made to begin a search, we here at The Matt Hurlburt Group are dedicated to making the process simple and straightforward.

There are hundreds of real estate agents within Chittenden, Addison, Franklin, and Grand Isle Counties. Why choose us? 

You should feel comfortable with your agent. We are a family group that specializes in client services. We provide transparent services, with your input each step of the way. 

Our commitment is to provide you the quality of service and communication you desire and deserve. The home buying process can be overwhelming. Allow us to guide you along the way. 

At the end of the day, we live in the community. You may see us at the store, a community or charity event, strolling down the street, running along the bike path, or on the top of a mountain. We are in the business of building relationships. You should love your new home!  It is our job to help you get there. 


Fixed-Rate Loans


The fixed-rate mortgage is the most popular mortgage program in use today. Fixed-rate loans offer the borrow a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan, typically 15 to 30 years. Borrowers have peace of mind knowing that their monthly payment will not change over time. Conventional fixed-rate mortgages have underwriting requirements established by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and require certain down-payment and debt-to-equity ratios to qualify. Fixed-rate loans are especially attractive to buyers who plan to stay in their home for more than a few years.

Adjustable Rate Loans


With an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM), the interest rate changes periodically, and payments go up or down accordingly. Rates are tied to an index that reflects the cost of money at any given point in time. Generally speaking, lenders charge a lower initial interest rate for the ARM than for the fixed rate mortgage. If you are expecting interest rates to decrease in the future, or if you are trying to maximize your purchase power today knowing your income will rise in the future, then this loan may be right for you. Adjustable rate loans are attractive for buyers who expect to be in the home for a short period of time.

FHA and VA Loans


The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), offers loans for low-to-moderate-income home buyers. FHA loans have lower down payments, and have relatively easier requirements than conventional fixed-rate mortgages. FHA mortgages have no income restrictions and even those with lower credit scores may be considered. Past bankruptcy does not necessarily disqualify borrowers from using this program!

In addition, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a zero-down mortgage program. To take advantage of this program, borrowers need to be among those listed as veterans and service personnel in the U.S. military. One of the biggest benefits of this program is that it eliminates the need for private mortgage insurance!


The Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) is a not-for-profit agency created in 1974 by the Vermont legislature to help low and moderate income Vermonters obtain low cost, affordable mortgages. This option is available for purchase of 1-2 family unit homes, condominiums, and mobile or modular homes as your primary residence. This program is offered as a fixed rate mortgage.

Income requirements can be found on the VHFA website and are based upon the county in which the property you wish to purchase is located. Purchase price limitations can also be found on the VHFA website and are also based on the county in which the property is located.

Local Home Buying Programs


There are often many state and local programs available. These programs offer down-payment assistance and programs for local home ownership. Learn more about these local programs, recommended lenders, and other finance options by contacting us today!

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Contact Information

Photo of Matt Hurlburt Group Real Estate
Matt Hurlburt Group
RE/MAX North Professionals
40 Main St, Suite 550
Burlington VT 05401
Phone: 802-862-5337
Fax: 866-660-0032