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Qualifications for First-Time Home Buyers in North Carolina

Purchasing your first home is an exciting milestone, but it can also be a complex process. Understanding the qualifications for first-time home buyers in North Carolina is crucial before embarking on this significant investment. To help you navigate through the requirements, this blog post outlines the key factors you need to consider when aiming to become a first-time home buyer in NC. As a Relocation Expert and a Bilingual Realtor I am here to educate and direct you to a right choce of home ownership. 

1. Credit Score:

One of the primary considerations for any mortgage lender is your credit score. A good credit score demonstrates your ability to manage financial obligations responsibly. While specific credit score requirements may vary among lenders, a higher credit score generally improves your chances of securing a favorable interest rate and loan terms. Aim for a credit score of 620 or higher to increase your eligibility for mortgage loans.

2. Employment and Income Stability:

Lenders evaluate your employment history and income stability to determine your capacity to repay the mortgage. Generally, they prefer applicants with a steady job for at least two years and a predictable income. Consistent employment shows reliability and reduces the perceived risk for lenders. Gather your employment records, such as pay stubs, tax returns, and W-2 forms, to provide evidence of your financial stability.

3. Down Payment and Closing Costs:

Saving for a down payment and covering closing costs are crucial steps in becoming a first-time home buyer. While it's possible to obtain a mortgage with a down payment as low as 3% to 5%, having a larger down payment can offer advantages such as lower monthly payments and reduced interest charges. It's essential to assess your financial situation and set realistic savings goals to meet the down payment and closing cost requirements.

4. Debt-to-Income Ratio:

Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is a measure of how much of your monthly income goes toward debt payments. Lenders typically prefer a DTI ratio below 43% to ensure you have sufficient funds to repay your mortgage. To calculate your DTI ratio, sum up your monthly debt payments (including student loans, car loans, and credit card payments) and divide it by your monthly gross income. A lower DTI ratio demonstrates your ability to manage your debts and increases your chances of mortgage approval.

First-Time Home Buyer Programs:

North Carolina offers various programs and initiatives to assist first-time home buyers. These programs often provide down payment assistance, low-interest loans, or other incentives to help individuals or families achieve homeownership. Research the available programs in your area, such as the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency's FirstHome program, to determine if you meet the criteria and can benefit from these resources.


Becoming a first-time home buyer in North Carolina requires careful planning and preparation. Understanding the qualifications and requirements beforehand will help you navigate the mortgage process with confidence. Take the time to improve your credit score, establish stable employment, save for a down payment, and assess your debt-to-income ratio. Additionally, explore the first-time home buyer programs available in NC, as they can provide valuable assistance. By meeting these qualifications and being well-informed, you'll be on your way to achieving your dream of homeownership in North Carolina.

Call me to discuss your goal and I can help you to be connected with a trusted local lender I partner with. #realtormaiasmith, #relocationexpertmaiasmith #relocatetoNC #freedomlivingrealty (704) 267 7888  

Update on state of Market for March 2023 for the buyers. 

Our Recent Work

How to Relocate to NC 

Relocating Expert Maia Smith 

with Freedom Living Realty 

Explains how to relocate to NC

Call/Text (704) 267 7888 

Email: [email protected] 

First Time Home Buyers

Blair Laudermilk from Fairway Independent Mortgage 

and Maia J Smith discusses a few important points for first-time home buyers. 

If you are thinking to buy a home, click here to reach out and get started  - Sign UP 

January 18. 2020​

Millennial's Flock to the Midwest for Affordable Housing 

The housing market across the U.S. is hot, and the millennial age group has quickly become the largest group of homebuyers. But with such high demand, rising home prices are hurting affordability.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Zillow, the following are 10 metro areas where millennials can actually afford to purchase a home. These locations were chosen based on average salary, home prices and the share of homes owned by people between the age of 21 and 38.

Des Moines, Iowa

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Wichita, Kansas

Omaha, Nebraska

Toledo, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Little Rock, Arkansas

Louis, Missouri

Syracuse, New York

While the locations at the top of the list may offer a slightly lower average salary, they make up for it with more modest home prices. Studies done by Zillow show that home prices in many of these places are roughly 38% lower than the median listing price of $291,900.

Interested in purchasing or refinancing a home? Let me help! 

Call today to set up an appointment to discuss your home buying options.

(704) 267-7888

Jan 15, 2020

Your Social Media Could be Affecting Your Credit Score

      Be careful what you post on your social media accounts! Recent studies have shown that many of the top credit rating companies are now using social media accounts to assess one’s ability to repay debt.

Credit history is the main influencer of credit scores but using non-traditional sources of information such as social media allows credit companies to view more about a person who does not have an in-depth credit history. Not only are creditors beginning to look into social media, but they are also paying close attention to things such as payment history on phone bills, utility bills and even movie rentals. If a person has moved several times in a short time period, creditors may take it as a sign that this person had trouble paying their rent.

While this kind of research into a person’s life can be great news for a homebuyer with a positive digital footprint, it can be detrimental for people who were previously “unscorable.” Before you post on your social media accounts, be aware that what you write is a permanent piece of your digital footprint. Then, carefully consider what the outcome may be.

Interested in purchasing a home? Let’s discuss your credit, finances and home buying options! Call to make an appointment today!

Yes, buying a home is a big decision, but it doesn`t have to be a hassle.

If you are serious call me, click here to see if you are qualified 

My process is client-friendly, and you will be making all the decisions.

Call me today (704) 267-7888 

How to prepare your house for successful showing. 

Jan 13, 2020 

Before you sign anything!!!!

Whether you are selling your first home or you are an experienced seller, my goal is to make the process as simple and effective for you as possible.

There is a process.

Step One is for us to sit down together and discuss your alternatives. We`ll set an appointment to have an informal, relaxed, person - to - person discussion about the price and time frame you wish to meet.

Step Two is to evaluate the right marketing plan for reaching your goals.  In today`s Real Estate Market, it`s a tremendous advantage to create a complete marketing strategy and the timeline for results.

Step Three, we`ll prepare your house to the market.

I am the marketing queen, and there are many things that  I can do to attract buyers.  My strategy includes individual feature flyers, custom webpage for your property, Facebook adds, holding open houses, and more!!

The more exposure your home receives, the faster it will sell for a higher price.

You will receive updates weekly.

In Step Four, once we are under contract,  I will be your advocate until we close. 

My role during this step is to see that all the details are handled quickly and professionally on your behalf.

Yes, selling a home is a big undertaking, but it doesn`t have to be a hassle.

If you are serious about selling your home, call me.

My process is client-friendly, and you will be making all the decisions.

Call me today (704) 267-7888 

February 9th, 2020 

From the recent article of 

 The Eclectic Economist 001

A tumultuous start to 2020 with Brexit, viral growth (no really), falling mortgage rates, and rising construction. Our first TEE looks at car-free cities, changing regulations, the latest home tech, and more!

Just Listed! $500k (Men), $510k (Women) 💵

A Yale School of Management study found that single women pay 2% more than men to buy a similar home. Gender-based pricing? Nope — it mostly comes down to negotiating tactics and market timing.

Singin’ in the Shower 🚿

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas featured a huge variety of ‘smart home’ products, from connected faucets that deliver 3 cups of water at just the right temperature for your pancake batter, to speakers built into the showerhead so that you can ask Alexa for your morning mood music. Industry stats suggest that homes with smart tech sell for 3–5% more.

Where the Streets Have No Cars 🚘

“I want to run…I want to play…I want to tear up the pavement, make cars go away.” (Not U2) Across the world, cities are combating traffic, pollution, and lifeless urban hearts by banning cars and replacing parking spots with parks.

From Home Shortage to House Party 🎉

The oracles at Capital Economics predict that one million new single-family homes will be built in 2020 as construction costs (labor and materials) fall while demand remains hot.


Scott Bradley Brixen


A CFA with 20 years of experience in global investment banking and equity research, 

ListReports’ “Eclectic Economist” finds everything interesting.


REALTOR®Maia Smith 

Bestway Realty 


If you are serious about buying or selling your home in 2020, 

just give me a call and we can schedule a 30-minute consultation. 

My process is client-friendly, and you will be making all the decisions.

Call me today (704) 267-7888