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Information for First Time Home Buyers in the Ann Arbor Area

First time home buyer programs and opportunities in the Ann Arbor Area.

You’ve heard about special programs for first time home buyers. You’ve looked online and seen properties that interest you. Now what?

Check out one of our First Time Home Buyer Seminars. They’re held evenings and weekends so they can fit into your busy work schedule. If you’d like a private consultation, they’re available as well. These are free, open to the public, and do not obligate you to work with the presenting Realtors in any way.

What every First Time Home Buyer needs to know:

You need to work with a Realtor who understands your needs. There are agents who specialize in luxury homes, agents who specialize in waterfront properties, condos, etc., so why not find one who specializes in First Time Home Buyers. As a first time home buyer, you’re likely to have a LOT of questions. You need someone who has the time, patience, and understanding to explain the answers to you thoroughly.

You think you’re ready to buy your first home, but before you start looking there are several things to keep in mind:

  • This is most likely the largest financial transaction you’ll ever make.
  • You want Buyer’s Agency representation; it should not cost you anything.
  • There are lots of different kinds of mortgages. Do your research!
  • Finding the perfect home can be frustrating. Be prepared to spend some time making an educated decision.
  • Neighborhoods vary greatly. Determine what is important to you, create a checklist, and use it for every neighborhood and home that you see.

Ann Arbor open houses are a great way to explore homes for sale and what you can expect to pay. We strongly suggest you get pre-qualified as soon as possible. If you want to be prequalified so you can narrow down your purchase options let us know. We can make sure you are aligned with someone who qualifies to assist you.


Relying on the assistance of a qualified Realtor can help you avoid many pitfalls, but here is how you can avoid the most common mistakes that first time home buyers make:

  • Get pre-qualified early to avoid falling in love with a house you can’t afford.
  • Budget for all expenses! Property taxes, repair and maintenance, utilities, etc. can add up quickly and make you house poor.
  • Don’t skip the home inspection; spending the money up front can help save you thousands in the long run.
  • Don’t let your true feelings show completely. If you absolutely fall in love with a home, don’t let the selling agent know – it gives them the upper hand in negotiations.


First time home buyer programs are available through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

The most notable first time home buyer program offers down payment assistance. The deferred loan has no monthly payments and zero interest – it becomes due when the home is sold, refinanced, or paid off.

If eligible, first time home buyers may receive a loan of up to $7,500 for down payment assistance on MSHDA Conventional, MSHDA Rural Development, or MSHDA FHA first mortgages.

  • First time home buyer must contribute at least one percent of the sales price.
  • First time home buyer must have no more than $5,000 in liquid assets.
  • Purchase price limits apply as do household income limits.
  • The first time home buyer must use the funds towards the minimum cash requirements to close.
    • This includes things like down payment required, closing costs, and prepaid expenses.
  • The first time home buyer must complete a course in order to be eligible.

For full details on the first time home buyer programs available through the state, visit the Michigan State Housing Development Authority website at As always, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder Ann Arbor Realtors can help you with the latest resources and programs available. We are only a phone call away to helping you understand all of your options.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder & Company, Realtors are always available to answer any and all of your financing questions. We keep current with the latest mortgage news and programs to make sure you are always up to date with every possible home buying financing options.

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