First-Time Homebuyer

A couple moves into their first home

Navigate homebuying with confidence

Learn the basics, get prequalified and find the mortgage that's right for you.

Prequalify now for a mortgage - important Contact us (moves focus down)

Buying your first home can be an exciting adventure

We'll give you the information you need and steps to take to realize your dream.

Are you ready to buy a home?

Before you start shopping, make sure you're ready by asking yourself some basic questions.

  • Why do I want to buy a home?
    Maybe you are thinking you want to avoid unexpected rental rate increases or are looking to build equity with an investment. Nonfinancial benefits should be also considered—like a better neighborhood or school district.
  • How long do I expect to stay in a home?
    Typically, purchasing a home is a long-term investment. You should plan on staying in a home from 5 to 10 years to recuperate moving and closing costs, as well as to gain equity.
  • Do I have a steady income?
    When going through the mortgage process, you'll submit income history to qualify for the loan. You'll also have to consider your confidence in future payments without getting over your head in debt.
  • Do I have money saved for a down payment and closing costs? Have I taken into account expenses for repair and upkeep?
    Closing costs are about 2% to 5% of the purchase price, and although there are programs to help with a first-time homebuyer's down payment, the average amount is between 5% to 10%. Once you own a home, a general rule of thumb is to save 1% of the purchase price a year for small fixes such as leaky faucets up to a more expensive roof repair.
  • What is my credit score and how does it affect my ability to get a loan?
    By knowing your credit score and resolving any issues, you can improve your chances of being approved for a loan and getting the best possible rates.

Budgeting considerations

  • How much home can I afford?
    Consider all of the costs that go into buying a home so that you can make a good decision on your home purchase price.

Time to get things moving

At this point, you've probably looked online at homes. You may have also driven through neighborhoods you're considering, or even attended a few open houses. Before you engage a realtor, it's a good idea to get prequalified.

Getting prequalified for a mortgage is important for two reasons. First, it lets you know how much home you can afford. Second, many realtors and sellers insist that you have a prequalification letter before they'll consider your offer on a home.

It doesn't necessarily guarantee you'll be approved for a mortgage, because a more thorough check of your documentation is still necessary. However, once you prequalify for a mortgage, your information will be saved and can be converted to a mortgage application.

What you'll need for prequalification

Start by gathering all the paperwork you'll need to provide a lender.

  • The city, county or ZIP in the area of your new home
  • Identification information (Social Security number or government-issued ID)
  • Your contact and residence information
  • Your employment status and general financial information

Prequalify now - important

Plan your financing

Once you've found a home, and your offer is accepted, it's time to get started with your mortgage. We have a variety of programs available to help making home ownership affordable to first-time homebuyers—with features like low down payments and reduced mortgage insurance.

  • First-time homebuyer – With this option there's no income limitations and you can qualify for up to 97% financing. You'll need to get mortgage insurance, but your premium will be reduced.
  • Community Homeownership Incentive Program (CHIP) – Qualifying homebuyers can get up to 97% financing with no mortgage insurance. You'll be required to take an online homebuyer education course.
  • HomeNow – Up to 95% financing is available with mortgage insurance. You'll be required to take an online homebuyer education course.
  • Rural housing loan – You can qualify for up to 97% financing but mortgage insurance is required.
  • Veterans administration – Veterans can receive up to 100% financing with no minimum credit score required and no income limitations.

Ready to start your mortgage application?

Closing day is here

It's the big day—just a few more steps to go. Here's what you need to be prepared for closing day when the property's ownership transfer is finalized.

Who to expect

A few different people may show up to the closing appointment, depending on which state you live. It may be as little as you and your attorney. However, others can be there including the seller, the seller's agent and attorney, your agent, the title company's representative, or a representative from the bank holding your mortgage.

What to bring

Be sure you have with you:

  • A photo ID
  • Proof of homeowners insurance
  • Your down payment
  • Closing costs—unless it's being rolled into your mortgage
  • Your checkbook—there may be unforeseen expenses or fees

Final documents

Be prepared to sign a lot of legal documents. For your records, you'll receive a closing disclosure, the mortgage note, deed of trust and a certificate occupancy.

Once you're done, you'll receive the keys to your new home and be able to move in!

Find out how much you can afford given your monthly budget.

Shopping for rates?

Estimate your rates

All fields are required.

Loan Amount

This is the amount of the loan that you are requesting.


Mortgage balance

Please enter the current balance on your existing mortgage loan. If you don't have an existing mortgage, enter 0.

Don't see your state?

If your state is not listed in the drop-down box, you may be located outside of our service area. To explore your banking options with BB&T, please contact us at 800-BANK-BBT (800-226-5228).

You must select your state before you can select a county.

Trending rates1



Personalizing the mortgage experience

Jackie Baker-Johnson

Hear the inspiring story of a first-time homebuyer fulfilling her dream.

Deputy Dustin Francis

Find out how our first-time home buyers get help at every step of the process.

Ready to get started?


A woman reads financial education online to understand her mortgage options

Questions about buying a home?

Check out our mortgage education center to help you make informed decisions at every stage of the mortgage process.

Learn more about buying a home - important

1Loan Assumptions for Trending Rates
Determining rates is a complex process. Because we do not have all of your financial information, the rate and payment results displayed may not reflect your actual situation.

BB&T offers a wide variety of loan options, and you may still be eligible for a loan even if your situation does not match our assumptions. Rates vary according to market conditions and financial profiles.

These example rates are based on the most current APR and: Loan Amount $200,000; Credit Score over 740; Primary Home; Single Family Dwelling; with a 20% down payment or 20% equity in the property.

The proposed monthly payment and rate does not include estimated tax payments or monthly premium payments for flood insurance or homeowners insurance. These amounts will be determined at a later date.


Loans, lines of credit and credit cards are subject to credit approval.

All BB&T mortgage professionals are registered on the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS), which promotes uniformity and transparency throughout the residential real estate industry. Search the NMLS Registry.

Branch Banking and Trust Company is a Member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender. Equal Housing Lender icon