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First-time homebuyers: A guide to mortgages

by Roberta K Team 11/20/2023

What to know about mortgages as a first-time homebuyer  featured image

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you may find yourself in need of a mortgage loan. Over 60 percent of homeowners have a mortgage, so becoming familiar with the loan process can be beneficial to your homebuying journey. 

What is a mortgage? 

A mortgage is a legal agreement between a borrower and a lender where the borrower, once approved for a set amount, pays back the lender over a specified term.  

Most mortgage loan terms range from 10 to 30 years, with the 30-year term being the most popular as it often comes with lower monthly payments. However, it’s good to note, the longer you take to pay off the loan, the more money you’ll pay in interest over the lifespan of the loan. 

Get ready for preapproval 

Getting preapproved for a mortgage loan is a great first step, as it allows you to see if you qualify. It also can give you a good idea of the financing you’ll have to work with to purchase a home. During the preapproval process, your lender will collect your financial information to see if you meet their borrowing requirements.  

You’ll most likely will need to provide W-2s, tax return info, your credit score and a few other items for preapproval verification. 

What is a mortgage composed of? 

A mortgage loan is made up of 4 primary components that include the principal, tax, insurance and interest. 

The principal amount is the amount of funds still left to pay off the loan, whereas interest is the fee your lender charges for taking out their loan. 

Your mortgage provider may also collect property taxes on your behalf through your monthly mortgage payment to be used annually. If you put down less than 20 percent on your home’s down payment, your loan provider may require you to pay for mortgage insurance to protect them if you default on the loan. 

Owning a home and paying for a mortgage is a significant commitment, so consider speaking with a lending officer. They can help you explore your options, get a better understanding of the process and find the right loan for your next home purchase.

About the Author

Roberta K Team

Roberta has been a full-time Broker since 1979. Her years of experience bring extensive knowledge to clients and customers that are seeking to buy or sell a home. In 1985 she decided to open her own Real Estate firm known as Roberta K Realty, which grew into 3 offices in Attleboro, Plainville, and Middleboro, MA. Now turn the clocks ahead to 2015, Roberta decided to step out of the management/ownership role and blend her team with one of the sister companies of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.  She is excited to return to what she loves most about real estate, which is working with buyers and sellers to help them achieve their dreams. 
     Roberta was born and resided in Falmouth, Maine until her move to Massachusetts in 1977. Being a long-time resident of North Attleboro, she is very familiar with the surrounding towns and neighborhoods.  She holds a Massachusetts and Rhode Island Brokers' license and has been in the top 3-5% of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Agent since 1988, holding awards in Chairman’s Circle Gold, Presidents Circle, and the prestigious Legends Award. Current Certifications and Designations: 

  • Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE)
  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
  • Graduate Realtors Institute (GRI)
  • Fine Homes Specialist
  • Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Relocation Specialist
  • eCertified

 Our Mission Statement

         To provide the highest quality of real estate brokerage service available.  Always put our clients' needs first.  To provide value that exceeds expectations.  To be positive, professional, and enthusiastic at all times.  To adhere to the highest standards of integrity and ethical business practices.  Continually strive to improve, develop and implement new ideas, strategies, and services that will benefit our clients and customers.