What You Need to Know as a First-Time Home Buyer: A Comprehensive Guide

Stock images of two couples going through their homebuyer journey and an exterior image of a Taber home.

What You Need to Know as a First-Time Home Buyer: A Comprehensive Guide

June 11, 2024

Buying your first home is an exciting milestone in life, but it can also be overwhelming, and with so many options and steps to consider, it’s essential to be well-informed from the start. At Homes by Taber ®, our team is committed to making your journey as smooth as possible, so read on as we dig into our comprehensive guide to help you navigate the buying process in the Greater Oklahoma City area

Explore your options of buying new

One of the first decisions you’ll have to make throughout this process is whether to buy a new or pre-owned home, and while you might think that buying a new home is only for seasoned buyers, that’s simply not the case. New homes offer modern amenities, energy efficiency, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing that everything is up to current building standards. At Homes by Taber, it’s even easier to accomplish this as a first-time buyer with our Blue Series, ensuring that you don’t have to miss out on the benefits that new construction offers.

When you choose a Blue Series home, you can rest assured that you’re getting more for your money. Without skimping on any quality building practices and keeping with our Proudly Overbuilt ® promise, our team has been able to create eight stunning floor plans, ranging from 1,200 to 2,000 square feet of living space and boasting a starting price around $250,000. As well as having an overall exceptional home design throughout each floor plan, all of our homes within our Blue Series have a large number of included features and finishes that you won’t find anywhere else, especially within this affordable price range. Some of the included features are:

  • Storm Safe Storm Shelter
  • Full Front and Back Sprinkler System with Smart Home Irrigation Controller 
  • Front and Back Fully Sodded Yards with Landscaping Package
  • Granite or Quartz Countertops
  • Stainless Steel Appliances with Slide-In Gas Range
  • Decorative Cabinet Hardware in Kitchen
  • Walk-In Shower in Primary Bath with Tile to the Ceiling 
  • Spacious Walk-In Closet in Primary Suite
  • Eggshell Paint throughout the home
  • HERS Rated Energy Efficiency 
  • Fresh Air Intake System
  • Tankless Water Heater
  • Covered Back Patio

Understanding loan types

Securing your financing is a crucial step in the home buying process, and there are several types of loans available, each with its own requirements and benefits. Here are a few to look into:

  • Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM loans): ARM loans have an interest rate that starts off fixed for a certain period of time (usually 5, 7, or 10 years), and then adjusts periodically based on the current market rates. Buyers who plan to sell or refinance before the adjustable period ends, or those who anticipate a rise in income, may benefit from the initially lower interest rates compared to fixed-rate mortgages. 
  • Fixed-rate mortgages: Fixed-rate mortgages have a constant interest rate and monthly payments that never change over the life of the loan. This is a good option for buyers who plan to stay in their home for a long period of time and prefer the stability that comes from a consistent monthly payment. 
  • VA Loans: VA loans are available for veterans and active-duty service members, and these loans are backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and often require no down payment and may offer competitive interest rates.

Down payment assistance

First-time home buyers might also be eligible for a variety of down payment assistance programs which can provide grants or low-interest loans to help you cover your down payment, making homeownership much more accessible. Here are a few programs you can consider: 

  • Community Action Partnership: This company has tailored home buyer assistance programs that cater to income-eligible individuals.
  • Neighborhood Housing Services Oklahoma: Offering down payment and closing cost assistance programs, this company requires applicants to attend their informative Homebuyer Education Workshop. Look out for separate applications based on your location in Oklahoma City. 
  • Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency (OHFA): OHFA’s down payment assistance programs extend a generous 3.5% or 4% toward your total loan amount. There are also some special rates offered that are tailored for teachers, first responders, and Oklahoma state employees.
  • REI Down Payment Assistance: Aimed at individuals with stable employment and the capacity to repay a loan, this program fills the gap for those lacking the upfront funds for a down payment or closing costs. 

General list of documents for your loan application

Buying a home comes with plenty of paperwork, and to streamline your loan application process, you’ll want to have these documents on hand to provide to your loan officer: 

  • Government-issued identification (driver’s license, Social Security card).
  • Proof of income, including the most recent 2-3 pay stubs showing year-to-date earnings, the last 2 years of tax returns and the last 2 years of W-2 forms. 
  • Proof of additional income (if applicable) such as alimony, child support, or bonuses. 
  • Bank statements from the last 2-3 months for all accounts you plan on using, including checking, savings, retirement, investment, etc.  
  • Self-employment documentation (if applicable) including profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and possibly business tax returns. 
  • Employment verification with the contact information for your current employer.
  • Debt information such as credit card statements, car loans, student loans, or any other outstanding loans. 

Narrowing down your area

Finally, choosing the right location around the Greater OKC area is key to finding your perfect home. Whether you’re just beginning to look or have narrowed it down to a few new homes in Moore or new homes in Yukon, here are some tips to help finalize your search:

  • List your priorities: Determine what factors are most important to you whether that’s quality schools, shorter commute times, community amenities, or proximity to entertainment options. Make a list of things you have to have vs. things you would like to have and let that be a guide for your search. 
  • Visit the area: Spend some time in potential neighborhoods at different times of the day to get a true understanding of the environment and community atmosphere. During this time, take note of things like nearby amenities, the noise level and see if you can speak to a few individuals who live in the area to get a complete picture of what living there would be like. 
  • Consider future growth: Research upcoming projects that might impact property values and living conditions over time. Things like planned developments, new businesses, and infrastructure projects can positively or negatively impact that area. 

The Greater OKC area offers a variety of neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm and amenities, and our team at Homes by Taber has a comprehensive guide to many of them. Whether you’re interested in learning more about living in Mustang, our new home communities in Yukon or quick move-in homes in Moore, we’re always happy to help you find the ideal location for you and your loved ones. 

Start your journey today

Buying your first home is a significant and somewhat difficult step in life, but with the right knowledge and preparation, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience. At Homes by Taber, we’re here to guide you every step of the way, ensuring you find a home that meets your needs and fits your budget. If you’re ready to start your journey with Homes by Taber and discover the possibilities that await you as a first-time home owner, give us a call at (405) 984-1185 or fill out our online form today.


Our Happy Homeowners

As a home inspector, I come across Taber-built homes frequently. Without exception these inspections are somewhat boring for me as there just isn’t a lot to find. Today, for example, a new build broke my inspection record for fewest deficiencies. They just build solid, efficient homes with great features. Highly recommended!

Steve Bennett

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