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5 tips for first-time homebuyers

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Figure out your down payment
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Figure out your down payment | Bounce/Getty Images

Figure out your down payment

It takes effort to scrape together the down payment.

There are programs that can assist buyers with qualifying incomes and situations.

There are programs that can assist buyers with qualifying incomes and situations.

"I've helped arrange assistance loans for $10,000, which are interest- and payment-free, and forgivable after 5 years. Although considered a loan, they're more like grants. Other programs can provide up to $40,000 interest-free," says Winesburg.

"Each state is different, but most of this money comes from the HOME Investment Partnership Program, which is a federal block grant to create affordable housing," he says.

Finally, speak with mortgage lenders when you're starting the process. Check with friends, co-workers and neighbors to find out which lenders they enjoyed working with and ask them questions about the process and what other steps first-time homebuyers should take.

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