Pros and Cons of First-Time Homebuyer Loans


Navigating the range of home loans to find the one that best meets your needs can be difficult, particularly if this is the first home you’re buying.

To make things easier, the federal government and most states offer insured home loans tailored to first-time homebuyers. These loans offer attractive benefits that can make the home-buying experience less costly and less restrictive. But they aren’t for everyone.

What Is a First-Time Homebuyer Loan?

First-time homebuyer loans offer a low down payment, reduced interest, limited fees and the possibility of deferring payments. These types of loans are offered at a federal level by the Federal Housing Administration and by most states.

The FHA defines a first-time homebuyer as a person who has not owned a home for three years. This includes single parents and displaced homemakers who only owned a house previously with a spouse.

The FHA insures lenders against potential default and requires a minimum credit score of 580 or above for a loan with a down payment of 3.5%. Most lenders, though, require a credit score of 620 or 640 and above to approve an FHA loan. In addition to your credit score, you will need to provide full documentation of your income and assets and meet the lender’s debt-to-income ratio, which is typically a maximum of 41% to 43% of your monthly gross income that goes toward the minimum payments on all of your revolving and installment debts.

Pros of First-Time Homebuyer Loans

The comparatively lower restrictions on these loans make them ideal for first-time homebuyers. You might want to consider these loans if:

  • You don’t have enough money saved up for a large down payment.
  • You have a limited ability to meet high interest payments and fees.
  • Your credit score is not high enough to qualify for other loan types.

But even if you do have funds saved for a large down payment, the low interest rates on first-time homebuyer loans could be too good to pass up.

Cons of First-Time Homebuyer Loans

The downside of FHA loans is that they have higher mortgage insurance requirements than conventional loans. The mortgage insurance payments must be made for the entire life of the loan unless you make a larger down payment. However, FHA mortgage rates are comparable to conventional loans regardless of your credit score, so you won’t be stuck paying a higher-than-average mortgage rate.

If you are looking to buy a really expensive home in an affluent area, you might have to look elsewhere. On Jan. 1, the federal Housing and Urban Development department reduced the “national ceiling-loan limit” to $625,500 for most affluent of areas. Loan limits vary depending on the median income in that area, so be sure to check with your real estate agent or lender.

Another potential drawback is the requirement that the home you buy will be your primary place of residence. In other words, if you were looking to buy the property with the intention of renting it out, you probably won’t qualify for the loan.

Some other potential drawbacks include:

  • If you sell your home soon after purchasing it, you could lose some of the loan benefits.
  • If you want to refinance at a later date or otherwise change the terms of your debt or your collateral, this may not be possible with a first-time homebuyer loan.
  • While some of these loans don’t require you to purchase private mortgage insurance, you may be required to take out insurance provided by the loan program, and this insurance policy could have higher fees and longer payment terms than a private insurance option.

Despite these drawbacks, a first-time homebuyer loan could still be the most attractive type for you. Take a step back, evaluate your financial situation, consider the home you’re looking to buy and consider your options.





You and Your Agent: The Final Walk-Through in McCall

You’ve made your offer in McCall. It’s been accepted. All the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed with your lending and it’s time to do the final walk-through. As you and your agent prepare to meet and complete this final step, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Timing. If possible, always do your final walk-through after the sellers have moved, but before you go to closing. This should occur no more than a week before closing, with the day of closing often the best time for this inspection.

Documentation. Have your contract, inspection report and any seller disclosures handy when walking through the home. These documents will help you determine if any new issues developed after the inspection, and which repairs, if any, were included in the agreement.

Repairs. Ideally, you should verify that repairs have been made as soon as the seller’s real estate agent notifies your agent they are complete, and not at the final walk-through. It’s a good idea to ask for copies of receipts for any repairs the sellers paid for.

Interior. Inside the home, test the heating and air conditioning systems and all appliances included in the contract. Turn on and off all lights, both inside and outside, and check the temperature and water pressure for all faucets. Remember to flush toilets to ensure there are no drips or leaks. Be sure to ask for working keys to every door, alarm codes, garage openers and any appliance or system manuals. Check for any floor or wall scrapes that may have occurred as the sellers moved out.

Exterior. Spend some time assessing the landscape and grounds, as well as confirming that all doors and windows not only open and close properly, but are also secure. If you asked for items to be removed, make sure that they are gone.

If the condition of the home has changed since your offer to purchase it was accepted, you will be in a better position to get the problems handled by bringing them to everyone’s attention before the deed changes hands. Your realtor can help you consider whether the problem is worth disrupting your settlement. With the endless number of scenarios that surround last-minute issues, it’s just one more reason to use Haden Tanner as your experienced real estate professional.


Why You Should Consider a Video Tour of Your Home

Millennials, that’s why. Generation Y has entered the home buying market and research shows that this segment of society is more likely to use video in making purchasing decisions. According to the Real Estate Book, compared to baby boomers, millennials are 150 percent more likely to comparison shop with video while shopping for a home.

With digital video becoming the norm real estate professionals and sellers are beginning to see the benefits of using video to sell homes. A well-done multimedia property presentation can clearly communicate the “wow factor” of a home by bringing a prospective buyer into the home and walking them through it from your perspective, highlighting your favorite aspects of the property. Further, rather than taking just one appointment at a time, hundreds of people can look at the house simultaneously online. A neighborhood guide can also be included in a video tour to give buyers a better idea of the big picture. To really make an impression, aerial drone footage of the lot and neighboring area can be included.

As your realtor, Haden Tanner will work with you on creating a video to showcase your home. The key to a great video is to keep it short and sweet. Start by properly staging your home and include simple panning shots of the exterior and interior of the home. Buyers will get to see a lot more than they would with an online photo gallery, and you get a much better sense of the layout and natural light in the home. Upbeat music and text overlays are a popular choice over speaking and appearing in video, but either option will work.

In today’s digital world, make sure you are marketing using as many tools as possible in order to reach as many potential buyers as you can. Call Haden today to get started on a true showcase of your home.

Check out a few listings utilizing video.

McCall Downtown Condos

McCall Town Homes


Kitchen Design Trends

IMG_7388HDREvery great kitchen starts with great design. Whether you favor contemporary or traditional styles, kitchen trends today draw inspiration from global sources. You can incorporate all sorts of different cultural influences from around the world while balancing the practical needs for your mountain lifestyle in McCall. To add worldly flair to your kitchen, start by:

Getting Fancy with Flooring

Certain materials establish a regional look because they are widely available in that region. In India, where quarries make natural stones easily affordable, kitchens commonly feature floors of glossy marble or other stone. Ceramic tile is abundant in Spain, and a wide variety of styles are available to create the underpinning for any regionally-inspired kitchen design.  In McCall where lumber is abundant many home feature wood flooring.

Paving the Way with Walls

Kitchens around the world have signature design elements when it comes to walls. Wood paneling is a hallmark of English country kitchens, while modern Japanese kitchens, which are often limited in space, are made to look larger with walls of floor-to-ceiling windows. And arches and bright tile accents lend themselves to Mexican design.  Open floor plans are trending in mountain towns like McCall.

Opening Up with Cabinetry

The material and color you choose for your cabinets will play a defining role in the overall appearance of your kitchen. Flat white or frosted glass doors can impart a very modern, European flair, while distressed woods in rustic hues create a Tuscan effect.

Coloring Your World

Specific colors are tied to certain world cultures, regions and locations – walls in a soft mandarin paired with burgundy window treatments can build an Asian-inspired backdrop, and Aegean blue and sand backsplash tiles speak of a subtle Mediterranean influence.

6 Ways to Wow McCall Buyers with Outdoor Staging

IMG_7434HDRAs one of the busier times of year for real estate activity in McCall, summertime is ideal for showcasing all McCall has to offer in the summertime. If you’re listing your home on the market this summer, stand out from the pack with these outdoor staging tips.

1. Invite Buyers In

It’s no secret curb appeal matters to buyers, but too often, minor details are overlooked when setting the stage out front. To roll out the welcome for buyers, replace your worn welcome mat with a summery alternative, and install large house numbers in a prominent location that can be viewed from the street.

2. Shine Up Windows

Cleaning windows inside and out can be taxing, but it makes a noticeable difference. For the exterior sides of the windows, scrub off any accumulated film from tree pollen and polish until glistening. Buyers will be pleased to see not only a sparkling home outside, but a light-filled interior as well.

3. Showcase Small-Scale Color

In lieu of a costly exterior paint job, choose specific areas outside to add pops of color. Window boxes bursting with blooms are often well-received by buyers, as well as container plantings. If the exterior could use some refreshing, consider re-painting the front door before recruiting a professional to do the entire home.

4. Spotlight for Safety

Make sure the outdoor spaces around your home, including the front entrance, deck, patio, and walkways, are appropriately lit. Updated light fixtures are not only aesthetically pleasing, but are an added safety feature to the home.

5. Maintain the Landscape

A well-kept home speaks volumes to buyers, and the exterior is no exception. Whether you hire a professional landscaper or DIY, trim the lawn and any hedges.

6. Deck Out the Deck

Whether your home features a deck, patio, porch or other outdoor living area, take time to power wash the surface to remove any debris. If your outdoor furniture is lacking, consider purchasing a fresh set, complete with all-weather cushions and pillows in vibrant colors.

Easy Market Ready Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is everything when selling your home. No amount of upgrades or remodeling on the inside of your home will make up for a neglected exterior. Follow these simple, inexpensive tips to welcome buyers to your market-ready home.

1. Paint the front door. The front door is your home’s focal point and may be the first thing buyers notice as they pull up. Repaint the door using a rich contrasting or complementing color. In addition, replace the hardware and consider adding a knocker or seasonal item, such as a wreath. If your front door is wood, consider sanding and redoing the finish.

2. Take a look at the garage door and trim. Freshen up both with a new coat of paint if needed.

3. Pressure wash the exterior. McCall is a dusty place and while you may not notice the dust on your house, you’ll be amazed at the difference a nice wash down will make. Be sure to include the windows, driveway if paved and sidewalks if you have them.

4. Make minor updates to the landscaping. For a fresh, revived look add a pop of color to your yard with a variety of seasonal flowers and think about adding a stone border to spruce it up a notch. Container plants work well on the porch, on the sides of the garage or lining the driveway. Get rid of the weeds and consider adding fresh mulch to garden beds. Check out the difference a little landscaping made on this project:

5. Take a good, hard look. After taking the above steps spend a bit of time looking around the front of your home.  Are your house numbers visible?  How is your lighting?  Do your gutters need a good cleaning?  Are your front steps, walkway, or porch in disrepair? If so, time to update or fix them. A little effort goes a long way in attracting buys to look at your house.

Haden Tanner at the McCall Real Estate Company is plugged in to the local market and can help you make a list of easy steps to take to enhance your home’s curb appeal before it hits the market. If you are thinking of listing your home, call Haden today at (208) 315-2242.

Is A New Price Bubble On The Way?

According to Wikipedia, a price bubble (or housing bubble for residential markets) is a type of economic bubble that occurs periodically in local or global real estate markets. It can be identified through rapid increases in valuations of real property such as housing until they reach unsustainable levels and then decline.

Perhaps the best example of this is the housing bubble that occurred from 2000-2006, with the bubble bursting between 2008-2010. While certain markets were hit harder than others, no community escaped unscathed.

With current housing prices inching closer to 2005 levels, and several states reaching new historic highs, the question arises: Is a new price bubble on the way?

Regional economies will drive price increases, based largely on job growth. Trulia’s Bubble Watch reported in January of this year that even in economies with stronger job creation, housing markets are still undervalued between 2-5%.

In April, National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun compared 2015 to the situation in 2005. He stated that while income is up only 2% and is not matching that of rising home prices, there are a few differences in the current market.

First, demand is lower in both new and existing home sales. But supply is also lower with no over supply at the moment. Second, there are more stringent lending guidelines and many more all cash transactions.

Yun states that pressure is starting to build and the key to relieving this pressure is to bring more supply to the market, including more active home building. But, this certainly does not indicate a case like 2005.

In addition, according to CNN Money, today’s rising prices are fueled by actual market forces, backed up by real money. It’s a better qualified marketplace and we aren’t seeing all those things that would create unsustainable demand.

So for now it seems we are avoiding a replay of the beginning of this century.

Enjoy Your Patio More Than Ever

It’s summertime and you are most likely spending a lot more time outside. When that time is spent on your patio, try these unconventional upgrades to make your summer BBQs that much more enjoyable! (It’s not going to hurt your curb appeal either.)
1. Lighting: Set the mood while upgrading from those old tiki torches and try out sconces and/or chandeliers.


2. Cushions, cushions, cushions: Make a cozy nook where you can’t resist hanging out. Put cushions on your chairs, porch swing, the ground, everywhere. Extend your living space by adding a sofa to the patio.


3. Cooking space: While you may not need an entire outdoor kitchen, think about adding an outdoor pizza oven or smores pit. It’ll get you outside and keep you there.


4. Bar: No BBQ space is complete without a bar for entertaining. Consider a bar on wheels or a folding table to make it portable, or install a permanent one. No regrets there.


5. Outdoor Movies: Have the neighborhood over for a movie. An outdoor movie at home is a fun way to spend warm summer nights without breaking the bank. String clothesline between deck posts or trees and use a white sheet and a projector to create your very own theater.


6. Dancing anyone?: If you have the space, why not have an impromptu dance party. String some lights, clear the furniture and crank the tunes.


7. Flowers, herbs, lettuce & more: No outdoor space is complete without a splash of color from nature. Invest in some beautiful containers and get planting. Don’t stop at flowers. Impress your guests by planting herbs and other edibles to be picked and casually eaten on site.


Live Auction Downtown Condos

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Don’t miss this rare opportunity to name your price! Open outcry live public auction 2 Condos to be sold absolute regardless of price. These amazing homes are in the heart of downtown McCall, walk to the marina, restaurants, coffee shops, and shopping. One covered and one uncovered parking spaces for each condo. For more information or to schedule your own private tour call now.

Download Auction Flyer

Property Information Package

Listing Price: Auction
Address: 1000 2nd Street
City: McCall
State: Idaho
ZIP: 83638
MLS # (if any): RP521893A
Square Feet: 1636
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2

Townhomes at Greystone Village

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With your home at Greystone Village you are within walking distance to all that McCall and the winter carnival have to offer all while your car is tucked nicely and safe in your garage.

Listing Price: 409,900
Address: 1506 Roosevelt Avenue
City: McCall
State: Idaho
ZIP: 83638
MLS # (if any): RT520522A
Square Feet: 2100
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 3
Acreage: .14

McCall townhomes at Greystone Village…Luxury Location, Luxury Living, Luxury Homes, Everyday Pricing. Enjoy McCall and Payette Lake and all it has to offer simply by walking out your front door. Access 5 star dining, shopping, spas, play house, Payette Lake, parks, Ponderosa State Park, and the McCall Golf Course within blocks from your front door.

For more information visit