Buying a home can seem daunting for a first-time buyer. There are a lot of questions about how to pay for it, what credits are available, and what you can really afford. Thankfully, there is a lot of knowledge available about the process! Here’s a quick guide for first-time homebuyers in North Carolina.


Buying a home is not as unattainable as you may think! This is especially true for neighborhoods outside of major metropolitan areas like Charlotte or the Triangle. There are a few common misconceptions:

  • You need a 20% down payment. Not true! A federally-backed FHA loan can lower your down payment to 3.5%; veterans can get a VA loan that may not require any down payment. Even privately owned banks like BB&T offer competitive options like the Home Now
  • You need perfect credit. The FHA requires at least a 580 to qualify for their loans, well below the national average of 695. That being said, higher credit is definitely a good idea because it lowers your interest rate, saving you significant money over the life of the loan.
  • It’s cheaper to rent. That depends! While some high-cost urban areas can require a big investment to buy, rising rent costs and home values mean that buying can be much cheaper long term. Locking in to a great mortgage rate will also keep your monthly payment low even as rent costs increase.


The NC Home Financing Association offers an amazing benefit: up to $8,000 in down payment assistance for first time buyers. For lower-priced houses, this is often all you need to get in the door.

There are some caveats, of course. The biggest is a household income limit that varies based on county. In Lee County – where we are – you’re looking at $69,000 for a two-person household and $79,000 for three or more people. Some cities have their own credits that have higher limits.

Located in beautiful Sanford, North Carolina, Autumnwood brings the best of rural living with easy access to Greensboro, Raleigh, Durham, and other thriving urban areas. Our newly built homes are perfect for first-time and veteran homebuyers alike. Contact us today to learn more!

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