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Ohio First Time Home Buyer Guide

You have decided that you are ready to own your own home. Congratulations on taking this big step! Buying a home for the first time can feel like a daunting process and you will have plenty of questions to ask yourself along the way. There is no wrong way to begin buying your own home.  Have you already found the home of your dreams, but need to go through the process of purchasing a home?  Are you looking to plan financially before beginning your search for a home? Or perhaps you are not sure where to start when buying a home.  Polaris Home Funding Corp. is here to help with our First Time Home Buyer's Guide.

Ready to move forward now?

What are the stages of buying a home?

Showing House to Customers

Selecting a Realtor

While you are not required to have a realtor or real estate agent to purchase a home, they will be a valuable resource and assist you in the home buying process. Beyond just locating available homes within your budget, a realtor will also advise you and help you prepare an offer on the house. A good realtor will guide you through the nuances of home buying for a smoother transition. Also, since most real estate agents are paid by commission via the seller, your realtor is likely to be free for a first-time home buyer.


Determining the Budget

In order to determine how much you can afford to spend on a house, you and your lender will look at your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. If your ratio of debt per income is too high, you are more likely to not be able to make your mortgage payments and may default on your loan. Your debt-to-income ratio is calculated by adding up monthly payments (such as student loans, rent, and credit card payments) and dividing this sum by your pre-tax income. The number you calculate is your percentage of debt to income. Ideally, loan applicants will have a percentage of less than 50% (0.5).  If your number is on the higher end, consider options to pay down some of that debt and how a mortgage payment will affect your budget.

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Credit Score

You will also need a good credit score to qualify for your first home loan. Are you still trying to repair your credit but not sure where to start? We can help walk you through the process of repairing your credit to get you ready to buy your dream home soon. If your scores are not where they need to be to get pre-approved don't worry, we've got you covered. We offer credit repair to help you get the highest score possible to buy.  We are capable of conducting rapid re-scores which can boost your credit quickly.

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Mortgage Lending and Pre-approval

Want to know how to get preapproved for a mortgage? Our Mortgage Pre-Approval services will take the complications out of the process. Our mortgage lenders will ask you some questions about your income, debts, assets, and credit history. This all can be done virtually or over the phone. From there, we can determine how much you can borrow so that you can start house hunting or make an offer on the home you have selected.  Whether you need help negotiating a mortgage or buying a new home, Polaris Home Funding Corporation can manage all your mortgage needs. We specialize in helping negotiate a home mortgage for young families and professionals. You’ll be surprised by how easy your mortgage lending and first time home buying experience becomes with Polaris team. Contact us and find out how our Mortgage Pre-Approval services can help, or start your pre-approval with Polaris now!.  Our experienced lenders can also assist you with any potential first time home buyer programs or grants that you may qualify for. 

House Hunt

Ohio House Hunting

Much of the house hunting process can be done online by using real estate databases like Zillow or Rocket Homes. This allows you to view the market of houses for sale in Ohio and get a solid idea of what type of home you are looking for and in which areas. When selecting a home, it is helpful to already have your preapproval letter and a clear budget for your new home to narrow down the selection process and speed things along.  While viewing a potential home it is a good idea to check its plumbing, electrical system, water, trees, gutters, and foundations.  Ask us or your realtor how we can help connect you with an inspection specialist in your Ohio house hunt. The house’s features as well as its conditions affect the home’s value and potentially affect your down payment price and closing costs. The surrounding neighborhood, travel to local  job, and local school system for any first time home buyers with children also should be considered in your housing selection. A home inspector will be able to assist with identifying potential issues or deal breakers in the structure of your home and your selected Ohio realtor should be able to provide additional information on the home's surrounding area.

Laptop and Paperwork

Necessary Documents and Down Payment

When you're ready to buy a house, you'll need to have a down payment ready. First time buyers don't have the benefit of using the proceeds of a first home to cover this cost. The amount of your first time home buyer down payment you need to save will depend on the price of the home you're interested in, but generally, you'll need to have at least 5% of the purchase saved up. Contact a Polaris Agent today to investigate if you qualify for any special first time home buyer grants and credits.


Make sure you're prepared, you'll need to gather some important documents and materials, including proof of income, bank statements, and a credit report. Your lender will use this information to determine how much you can afford to borrow and what your interest rate will be.

Real estate agent with a house for sale

Making an Offer on Your First Home

The home you wish to buy is picked out, you are set up financially, now it is time to put in an offer for the house.  In this offer, you include your offer amount, any contingencies, or any earnest money. It is important that you are certain you want to purchase this home before making this offer because if you were to change your mind, you may lose any earnest money payment you put toward the house’s purchase. After your offer is put forward the seller will either accept, decline, or propose a counteroffer. If the seller accepts, you can now move to closing on the house.

Taking the Key

Closing on the House

You will receive a document detailing everything to expect from closing relevant to your home purchase and first time home buyer's loan agreement. All involved parties sit down for a meeting of paperwork, signatures, down payment, and any associated fees. You’ll want to bring with you your form of payment and ID. At the end of your closing meeting, you will receive the keys to your first home and be an official homeowner.

Ready to talk with your new home loan lenders? Hometown lenders at Polaris HFC will get you pre-approved today!

Move Forward With Great Savings

Discover the best mortgage rates in Ohio with Polaris Home Funding Corporation. Learn how to get pre-approved for a mortgage in Ohio and navigate the Ohio mortgage process effortlessly. Take advantage of our down payment assistance programs and exclusive first time home buyer programs in Ohio to secure your dream home.

Mortgage Deals

Exclusive Rates

Explore our range of mortgage options tailored to your needs in Ohio. Receive first time home buyer assistance from FHA, USDA, VA, to jumbo loans, we have you covered. Even with bad credit, our mortgage brokers can assist you. Use our Ohio mortgage calculator to find the best rates. Whether you're refinancing or buying, Polaris Home Funding Corporation is here to help.

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