First time homebuyer resources

Homebuying made simpler

Wells Fargo has programs and resources to put homeownership within reach, so your first home may be closer than you think.

Get prequalified

It starts with affordability

For many potential homebuyers, saving enough for a down payment and closing costs feels impossible, especially for those with modest incomes. We're committed to making homeownership more affordable with programs like these.

3% down payment mortgage

Wells Fargo's fixed-rate Dream. Plan. Home.℠ mortgage loan. We also offer FHA loans and VA loans for eligible buyers, with little or no down payment.

3% down payment

Up to $5,000 for closing costs

Through our Dream. Plan. Home. closing cost credit, eligible buyers get up to $5,000 to apply toward one-time closing costs — such as appraisal, title, and recording fees — when buying a primary home in an eligible area.

Closing cost credit

Down payment assistance

Find out if you qualify for down payment assistance programs, mortgage revenue bonds, or other programs designed to reduce the up-front cost of buying a home. Talk to a mortgage consultant to see what's available.

Contact us to learn more

What to know about low down payments:

With a low down payment, mortgage insurance will be required, which increases the cost of the loan and will increase your monthly payment. Talk with a home mortgage consultant about the loan amount, type of loan, property type, income, first-time homebuyer, and homebuyer education requirements to ensure eligibility.

Homebuying basics

No two homebuying journeys look exactly the same, and the path is rarely a straight line. But the whole process can feel simpler if you break it down, so start by understanding these.

Make sure you're financially ready

As you get started on this journey, consider whether you need to strengthen your credit, save more for a down payment or closing costs, or budget for additional homeownership expenses, such as property taxes.

Preparing to buy

Get prequalified for a mortgage loan

Now's your time to get prequalified online so you can move forward confidently. Receive a customized mortgage rate to learn how much you may be able to borrow — all in just a few minutes without affecting your credit score.


Shop for homes and make an offer

When you're ready to shop, start your home search right here with customer-only features that let you save your searches, stay up to date as home purchase prices change, and get notified as new real estate listings pop up.

Home shopping

Finalize your loan and close the deal

After the seller accepts your offer, you’ll want to schedule a home inspection, get the property appraised, and secure homeowners insurance so that everything is ready for closing day.

Closing on a house

Explore the mortgage learning center

Tips and homebuyer education to help you make smart decisions at every step of the journey.

Top questions from first-time buyers

While many people think you can't buy a home without 20% down payment, many mortgage options allow for lower or even no down payment. A home mortgage consultant can help you determine what works best for your finances and what programs you may qualify for.

A lender will check your credit score and history, your debt-to-income ratio, which is a measurement of the amount of debt you have compared to your income, and take a general look at how much money you have in checking and savings accounts in order to be confident you’ll be able to pay for your mortgage, taxes, and other costs associated with buying a home.

Credit scores range from a low of 300 to a high of 850. While there’s no magic credit score that will guarantee you will be approved for a mortgage, generally speaking, the higher your credit score, the more borrowing options you may have.

Mortgage prequalification is a simple process that uses your income, debt, and credit information to let you know how much you may be able to borrow. Getting prequalified before you shop for homes can help you:

  • Focus your search — Establishing  your price range up front means you can target the right homes in your search.
  • Move forward confidently — When it's time to make an offer, you'll have the confidence of knowing you can back it up.
  • Know your options — Seeing the loan amount, interest rate, and monthly payment you could qualify for means you'll be able to make the mortgage decision that works best for you. 

Getting prequalified online is quick and simple. Just visit our secure mortgage prequalification calculator and provide the following information:

  • The city and state where you're looking to buy
  • The estimated purchase price and down payment
  • Your annual income
  • Your date of birth, current address, and contact information

We'll use that information, along with your credit rating and monthly debt, to calculate the loan amount, interest rate, and monthly payment you may be able to qualify for—all in just a few minutes and without affecting your credit score.

Prequalification and preapproval actually have more similarities than differences:

  • Neither comes with any fees or obligations.
  • Neither one is a commitment to lend.
  • Both provide an estimate of how much you could borrow to buy a home.
  • Both base that estimate on factors like your debt-to-income ratio, how much you have for a down payment, and your credit history.

The key difference is that a preapproval is a more accurate and reliable estimate based on a more complete view of your credit. That's because when you prequalify, we perform a "soft" credit inquiry, which gives us information about your credit history and monthly debts, but this doesn't provide as much detail as a "hard" credit inquiry, which is required for a preapproval.

Your preapproval also comes with a PriorityBuyerSM Preapproval Letter that you and your agent can give to sellers when you make an offer, so they know you're a serious buyer.

If you're not sure which option is right for you, start by getting prequalified online. It only takes a few minutes, and afterward you can easily take the next step and let us know you'd like to get preapproved.

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A PriorityBuyer® preapproval is based on our preliminary review of information provided and limited credit information only and is not a commitment to lend. We will be able to offer a loan commitment upon verification of application information, satisfying all underwriting requirements and conditions, and property acceptability and eligibility, including appraisal and title report. Preapprovals are subject to change or cancellation if a requested loan no longer meets applicable regulatory requirements. Preapprovals are not available on all products. See a home mortgage consultant for details.

DAP programs are subject to fund availability and income or geographic restrictions. Some DAP programs are gifts with no repayment required. Some DAP programs are second mortgages which can be forgivable over time, or have deferred payments until refinance or payoff, or have monthly payments. Check the specific DAP program for requirements.
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Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.