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first-time home buyers

You just made one of the biggest decisions in your life: you're buying your first home. But, where to start? Get pre-approved for a mortgage loan through the link below. Feel free to also check out the rest of our content specifically written for first-time buyers, like you!

[Diamond Realty & Loan] was extremely helpful with our first time home buying process. Being business owners, my husband and I had go through alternate routes for a new home loan. Dave walked us through the process and thoroughly explained every step to us. He was so responsive with our many questions and we always felt like he had our best interests in mind. We are now happy homeowners thanks to [Diamond Realty & Loan] and we cannot recommend Dave and his services enough! We are looking forward to working with him again in the future.

- Catherine S.

use this mortgage calculator to forecast your payments!

Here are some FAQs we received from current and previous clients about their experience as first-time home buyers. In addition, we cover related topics in more depth too! Check out the links below:
start your application today!

learn more about being a first-time home buyer

I’m a first-time home buyer - do you have programs that can help me?

Absolutely. We know of over 140 down-payment assistance programs that you may get approved for. If you qualify, first-time home buyers can put as little as 3% down on a conventional purchase or 3.5% on an FHA.

Everyone’s situation is different so make sure to fully understand your numbers... and make sure to get pre-approved - not pre-qualified - before looking. Getting pre-qualified is great for understanding your situation better but getting pre-approved means the money’s ready to go. Getting pre-approved allows you to know exact numbers (amount and interest rate). This also allows you to make an offer on a house and be taken seriously.

what happens in a pre-approval for a loan?

During a pre-approval, we validate all aspects of the loan process EXCEPT the property or collateral. This means that (when pre-approved) your money is literally waiting for you to find a home that qualifies. However, this is not to be confused with getting pre-qualified - which takes a cursory look at your scenario and compares it to guidelines. We can then see what the potential outcome can be if you go through the process and provide the documentation.

how long does it take for a loan to get processed?

Processing a loan varies from scenario to scenario. All loans are different, but generally a loan can go from application to funding in 30 days or less.

how do you determine the loan amount I can afford?

The amount you qualify for is in direct relationship with loan programs (check out the loan comparison table below) you're interested in, your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), the loan-to-value (LTV), and the depth of credit profile you have (which includes, of course, your credit score!). A good rule of thumb is 45% of your monthly income would go to pay all loans.

FICO credit score: what it is and its effects

For first-time home buyers

Your credit score is a reflection of your financial health. We break down the its factors and how to manage/improve it for your future.

loan comparison chart -


$562,350 to county loan limit

1-4 unit, PUD, & condo
(Manufactured allowed w/ reduced LTV etc.)


Automated up to 50%


$647,200 or county loan limit

1-4 unit, PUD, & condo
(Manufactured allowed w/ reduced LTV etc.)


Automated up to 50%, cash out 45% max


Subject to income limits
and ratios guidelines

1 unit, PUD, & condo
(new manufactured homes)




$647,200 or county loan limit,
High Balance & Jumbo also

1-4 unit, PUD, & condo
(Manufactured allowed w/ reduced LTV etc.)


Residual income is
more important


$442,750 to county loan limit

1-4 unit, PUD, & condo

660 min.
(depends on program)

Program specific

Retirement/Reverse mortgage

$442,750 to county loan limit

1-4 unit, PUD, condo, & townhome
(no manufactured)

Not considered


type of loan
loan limit

property type
minimum fico score
debt-to-income ratio (DTI)

download our free financing guide

You’ve made a decision - you want to buy your next home. Congratulations! But, what now? Most buyers need some level of financing to purchase property. In fact, 87% of all buyers in 2020 financed their home purchase. Whether you're a first-time home buyer, or on your 3rd home, we created this free financing packet for you. You'll find valuable information in this PDF, including financing basics, refinancing options, and a list of documents you need to get started. Click the button below to get your download started!

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get your free packet here
Got a real estate/mortgage question? 
contact us

14 N 5th St
Redlands, CA 92373
(909) 376-8399

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