First-time Homebuyers

Purchasing your first home is an exciting prospect, and we can help.
Here are 5 important things to consider as you get ready to buy.


Know your credit score and loan options.

The first step to purchasing a home is knowing how close you are to qualifying for a mortgage. Here are the three primary requirements for a home loan.

  • 620+ credit score.

    Loan options may be available for lower credit scores, but 620 or above is recommended. To get an accurate credit score for a home purchase, you will need to request your free FICO score from a loan officer. 

  • Enough money saved to cover closing costs and down payment.

    Many first-time homebuyers qualify for little or no money down programs like state housing, FHA, and USDA loans. There may also be first-time buyer incentives and grant programs available to help with down payment and closing costs. Down payment and closing costs vary by program and other considerations, so meeting with an Intercap Loan Officer to discuss your options is the best way to find out what’s available.

  • Enough income to cover the monthly mortgage payment and acceptable debt-to-income ratio (DTI).

    Some loan programs allow up to 50 percent DTI, but it’s up to you to decide how much you can afford. Examples of debt include car loans, student loans, and credit card debt. We can determine your credit score and DTI in just a few minutes with your application, as well as discuss your down payment and closing cost options.


Know what you can afford.

Loan payments include principle, interest, taxes, and insurance. Other considerations include home repairs and maintenance. These costs shouldn’t detract you from buying a home. A landlord typically charges a rental payment to cover all of their costs as well as a margin of profit. Owning your own home allows you to benefit from the equity that you build over time.

Buy vs Rent Scenario

Here’s an example of a 9-year gain on a $280,000 purchase versus a $1,550 rent (see images). In this scenario, this purchase shows a net gain of nearly $175,000 after all reasonable costs and gains are calculated. Contact your Intercap Loan Officer for a rent vs buy calculation based on your situation.

APR of 5.082% assumes a 4.500% simple fixed interest rate assuming $13,724 in fees included in APR. Monthly principal and interest payment based on a fully amortizing fixed interest loan of $202,500 with 360 monthly payments at the assumed simple interest rate. Loan and monthly payment buying scenarios used for informational purposes only and does not reflect actual terms of loan offered. This information should not be construed as investment or mortgage advice or a commitment to lend. Your results may vary. There are no guarantees, promises, representations and/or assurances concerning the level of accuracy you may experience. For actual and current terms and rate information, please contact your Intercap Loan Officer directly.


Get a loan pre-approval letter.

A loan approval from an Intercap Loan Officer means your loan information has been verified and you are approved for a mortgage with Intercap Lending. The seller is more likely to accept an offer from a buyer who is approved for their loan, as opposed to simply being pre-qualified. This approval also helps us to close your loan more quickly.

Ask your Intercap Loan Officer about their $1,000 loan approval guarantee. As a guarantee of their due diligence, your Intercap Loan Officer will give the seller $1,000 if he or she is unable to close the loan due to any fault on our part to collect and verify all the necessary buyer information.


Find a great real estate agent.

A licensed real estate agent can help you find the right home based on your budget and preferences. Your agent will also help you make an offer, write the contract, and negotiate the price. Once your offer is accepted, your agent will arrange the inspection and make sure the seller keeps all their contract commitments. A great real estate agent will help you get through the whole purchase process.

Want help finding a real estate agent? We work with LOTS of great agents. Send us a request and we’ll have an agent contact you. 


Stay on track.

The following is a list of some key do’s and don’ts when you are close to buying a home or under contract. Please contact your Intercap Loan Officer for any questions or advice.


  • Pay bills on time
  • Submit your annual tax returns
  • Deposit income and savings into your bank account
  • Keep records of income, rent, and loan payments


  • Make large purchases that will raise your debt or deplenish your savings needed to close
  • Take out credit or loans for things like a car, boat, credit card, or furniture
  • Quit or change jobs
  • Apply for bankruptcy or foreclosure