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Field Guide to Working With First-Time Homebuyers

(Updated February 2013)

The challenge of purchasing a home is often confusing and angst-ridden for first-time buyers. REALTORS® can use the resources, tips, statistics and links in this field guide to help their clients through the first-time home buying experience.

According to the 2011 Harvard JCHS State of the Nation's Housing report, “First-time buyers are key to a strong recovery in the homeowner market. The potential for first-timers to drive growth is clear from the lift in both home sales and prices that came with the expiration of the tax credit programs in 2009 and 2011.”

Q - ProQuest articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the ProQuest/Find Articles page.

News & Information

10 Tips Most First-Time Home Buyers Don’t Consider, (FiveCentNickel.com, July 16, 2014).

Despite ideal housing market, first-time homebuyers still find challenges, (NJ.com, June 22, 2011).

Latinos, first-time homebuyers are the key to the housing recovery, (Nat. Assn. of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, June 16, 2011).

Advocates and bankers join to fight loan rules, (New York Times, June 2, 2011).

Singles, especially women, a growing share of homebuyers, (Chicago Tribune, Feb. 28, 2010).

REALTOR® Resources

Why Rent When You Can Buy – English Version, Item E186-90

Why Rent When You Can Buy – Spanish Version Download, Item E186-95

Consumer Tips & Resources

Estimating expenses before buying your first home, (New York Times, Nov. 8, 2011)

The case for hiring a lawyer, (New York Times, Sept. 29, 2011)

First-time homebuyer credit Q&A: Homes purchased in 2009 or 2010, (IRS.gov, July 6, 2011).

First-time homebuyer tax credit, (IRS.gov, June 21, 2011).

5 Tips for the first-time homebuyer, (FOX Business, June 6, 2011).

Common questions from first-time homebuyers, (HUD, Oct. 26, 2009).

55 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers, (Quicken Loans, Oct. 2, 2009).

USDA Rural Development Housing and Community Facilities Loans

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Buying a Home When You're Single, (Adobe eReader)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buying a Home, (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Home Buying for Dummies, (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Home Buying Without the BS!, (Adobe eReader)

How to Buy Your First Home, 2E (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

The Unofficial Guide to Buying a Home, (Adobe eReader)

The Real Estate Process, (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Buying solo, (Chicago, IL: Penguin Group, 2005). HF 5438 Su6

Home buying for dummies, (Chicago, IL: Wiley Publishing, 2001). HD 1341 T98

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Getting a Mortgage

InfoCentral Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.