First time home buyers have been sending in a lot of questions lately and one that comes up frequently is “What is the MLS?”  I shot a short video here with an explanation of the mls and information about where you can find free access to the mls and mls listings online for most of the cities and metro areas in the US.  Visit to use the mls to help you find a home.  Many of the metro areas also have map based mls search available. This free real estate service is provided by local real estate agents and Realtors.Enjoy and if you have more questions about the mls, finding a home or anything else, please use our form at the bottom of this page


If you are going to be a First Time home buyer anytime in the next four years, you’ll want to get out and vote tomorrow, Tuesday November 4th. If you’re not sure where to go to vote, follow this link to Google’s “where do I vote?” page and simply type in your current address. Your voting location will pop up in a second with directions if you need them.

I’m sure you have heard more than enough about the pending government bailout of Wall Street and all the bad mortgage debt that they own.  If you ask me, I say Wall Street needs to go down with the ship.  It was their greed and the games they played with a thing called derivatives that had as much to do with the mortgage meltdown as anything else.  That said, how will this affect the first time home buyer?

Bottom line is it will be way tougher to get a loan than any of your friends that bought a house 12 months ago.  Lenders, what few that are left, are being more and more picky about who gets a mortgage.  12 months ago someone with a 640 credit score and a low debt ratio would have qualified for as good a rate as almost anyone else.  Today a 640 score will cost the borrower severely in terms of a higher rate, almost a full 1% higher.  This means that today, looking at just one lenders rate sheet, if you have a credit score of 740, you would get a 30 year fixed rate of 6.0%.  If your score is 740, your rate would be more like 7.0%,  which makes a big difference in payment.  These new guidelines are from Fanni Mae and Freddie Mac, who I’m sure you have heard of in the news.  These are the two government regulated organization that made a market for mortgages.  These are also the two companies that recently were taken over by our government, which means you and I are part owners, because they were about to go bankrupt because of all the bad mortgage debt they had on their books.

We are in for some difficult times in the near future but it won’t last forever and if you are a first time home buyer with a high credit score and low debt, you will always be able to buy a home.  To find homes for sale, real estate and mls listings, visit

If you haven’t heard, the seller funded down payment assistance programs like Nehemiah will no longer be available after October 1st.  Many lenders have already stopped offering these programs.  If you are a first time home buyer and you have no money for a down payment, you better find and buy a home fast!

To see millions of homes for sale and mls listings all over the US, visit, a national directory of mls listings with free access for consumers.

First time home buyers can use the form below to ask questions. I will answer your questions both here and by video on youtube. Occasionally I will have other industry experts answer your questions especially if the answer to the question is related to a particular state or city first time home buyer program.  I will try to respond to your questions in 24 hours or less.

The answer is generally no, in fact it is still possible to buy a home with no down payment. That said, not everybody will qualify for this mortgage program so I will mention a few things to consider if you are planning to buy a home with no down payment.

There are very few if any 100% purchase programs remaining in the mortgage markets today. Not long ago home buyers could get either one mortgage for 100% of the purchase price or combine a first mortgage for 80% of the value and a second mortgage for the other 20% of the purchase price. A lot has changed over the past 12 months as I’m sure you have heard and it is difficult to turn on your TV or surf the Internet without seeing something about the current mortgage crisis. So how does a first time home buyer purchase a home with no money down today? With a combination of an FHA mortgage and a 3% down payment made by the seller through one of many down payment assistance organizations.

FHA mortgages are readily available throughout the country and any one of our First Time Home Buyer Consultants can advise you on how to apply for an FHA mortgage in your area. The trick is to find someone who fully understands how the down payment assistance programs (DPA) work and has experience putting them together. The best results for this FHA mortgage combined with down payment assistance from the seller come from working with both a mortgage professional and a Realtor who both have experience with FHA and DPA programs. The easiest way to find experienced professionals is to call our home buyer hotline, or fill out our pre-approval form on  and a local qualified first time home buyer consultant will follow up with you. The other option is to start calling and interviewing Realtors and mortgage companies in the local yellow pages until you find someone who appears to know what they are talking about.

The bottom line is qualified buyers can still buy a home with no down payment and in my next post, I will talk more about the down payment assistance programs, specifically the Nehemiah program.

My name is Ken Horst and I created this blog to help first time home buyers prepare for the purchase of their first home. I have been working with first time home buyers for the past 6 years as a loan officer and have been able to help many people enjoy home ownership, who didn’t think they would be able to buy a home. On this blog, I will answer readers questions, provide links to other sites with home buyer info, and share information with first time homebuyers in order to help them wade through the myths and avoid the pitfalls that can really mess up their purchase transaction. I will also share this space with a number of real estate professionals who will also share their expertise, primarily on a more local level and offer help to home buyers in their cities and metro areas where they are the experts.

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