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Buying a home is the single largest purchase most people make. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide for first-time homebuyers. The more you know about your options, the easier it is to arrange financing that suits your needs.

Where do I start?

The first thing you should do is determine your budget. What is a monthly payment amount you’re comfortable with? Remember to include taxes and insurance. Next, speak with a KeyBank Loan Officer about prequalification to determine what loan program and mortgage amount you may qualify for. This can help set expectations and save time when you begin your home search.

The loan process

These are some of the steps you’ll have to take to secure your mortgage:

Mortgage options

Fixed-rate vs. adjustable-rate

Each has its own advantages, and your choice depends on factors such as the current interest rate, how long you expect to own your home, your down payment, and your cash flow.

Fixed-rate mortgage features:

  • Predetermined monthly payment amount.
  • Rate remains the same for the term of the loan to allow for easier budgeting.
  • Suitable for those who plan to stay in their home for a longer period of time.

Adjustable-rate mortgage features:

  • Interest rate adjusts periodically to reflect market conditions.
  • Initial fixed-rate period offers a lower interest rate. At the end of the initial period the rate and monthly payments may increase.
  • Initial fixed-rate periods may vary. Contact your loan officers to discuss available options.
  • Suitable for those who may want to sell or refinance early or can afford to make larger monthly payments after the initial fixed-rate period expires.

Types of Mortgages

With the right home loan, you can buy a home and keep your finances on track. These are the most popular mortgages for first-time homebuyers.

Fannie Mae HomeReady Mortgage

These home loans are not backed by the federal government. They conform to limits set by Fannie Mae and can be either fixed- or adjustable-rate. FNMA HomeReady can have a combined loan-to-value (CLTV) up to 105% of purchase price.

FHA (Federal Housing Administration) Loan

A mortgage home loan that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Also known as a government loan. FHA mortgage insurance protects the lender if a borrower defaults on the FHA loan. This insurance enables a lender to provide loan options and benefits often not available through conventional financing.

VA (Veterans Affairs) Loan

These loans offer great benefits to qualified veterans and reservists. These loans offer up to 100% financing with no Mortgage Insurance and no down payment required in most cases.1

Key Community Mortgage ®

A Key Community Mortgage loan helps low- to moderate-income borrowers become homeowners. Features include low down payments that can come from gifts or grants, all or part of the points and closing costs can be financed as part of the loan, fixed-rate terms, and no PMI required.

If you have questions, we have answers.

The homebuying process can seem a little daunting and even intimidating. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you every step of the way. We’ll take you through the entire process, answer all your questions, and always keep you prepared for what’s next. When it comes to getting you into your new home, our line is open until you close.

View FAQ Contact a Mortgage Loan Officer

Unless required by the lender, or if the purchase price is more than the reasonable value of the property as determined by VA, or the loan is made with graduated payment features.

This material is presented for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individual tax or financial advice. KeyBank does not provide legal advice.

By selecting any external link on, you will leave the KeyBank website and jump to an unaffiliated third-party website that may offer a different privacy policy and level of security. The third party is responsible for website content and system availability. KeyBank does not offer, endorse, recommend or guarantee any product or service available on that entity's website.

NOTICE: This is not a commitment to lend or extend credit. Conditions and restrictions may apply. Information and offers are subject to change without notice. All loans are subject to credit and collateral approval. Not all loans or products are available in all states.

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