Make Your First Home Purchase Your Best-Ever Decision

Can you get qualified? Even without a substantial down payment saved, you’ll find there are programs—such as the FHA loan program—that make it possible for you to become a first-time home buyer.

Take advantage of interest rates. There’s no guarantee that interest rates are going to be this low forever. By getting out of the renter’s game and locking in low interest rates, you can begin a lifelong journey of wealth building.

Use less money down than you imagined. The concept of saving up 20% for money down against a loan can scare some first-time home buyers. But we’ll explain why that doesn’t always have to apply to you.

What You Need to Know About First-Time Home Buying

According to some statistics, a majority of renters who want to buy a home don’t move forward because they’re afraid they don’t qualify! But there are plenty of programs that make it viable for lots of people—even those with poor credit—to qualify.

For many first-time home buyers, the main issue is coming up with the down payment. Many of those who would otherwise buy a home feel they would move their purchase timeline forward if they could make the down payment.

With some first-time home buyers’ terms, it’s possible to pay with a relatively small down payment, much smaller than the usually-expected 20%.

Home sales are as hot as ever, with available homes sometimes going off the market in as little as three weeks in some areas—or even less.

Find favorable terms. When you approach it the right way, your first home purchase can be a door to great terms that help you with your monthly budget.

2 Ways to Use Your FHA 203(k) Loan

Buy a Fixer-Upper (and Fix It Up)

Or... Renovate Your Current Home!

Chris and I have known Marshall many years and he is the best there is. He will guide you straight and true!

- Kathryn Humphrey.

Marshall walked us through the loan process with complete professionalism. He was dedicated to being certain that the process went smoothly and expeditiously and that we were informed at every step of the process. I can recommend Marshall for all of your mortgage lending needs.

- Jim Burton.

Highly recommend using Marshall for all of your loan needs! Everything was thoroughly explained in such a timely manner. I cannot say enough good things about Marshall.

- Carlie Smith.

Marshall was incredibly helpful throughout my loan experience. His team was very fast and professional. They use an online tool that made the whole experience of gathering the correct documents super easy. I would absolutely recommend using him and his team.

- Brandi Orth.

Marshall, Larissa and the rest of his team did an outstanding job for us! We were originally supposed to close on the 26th, but they got it done 9 days early. They didn’t cut any corners to get it done either. I’ve never seen such attention to detail. Marshall got us a great low rate to boot! I highly recommend talking to Marshall before choosing another lender!

- Vickie Douglass.

Marshall is great guy to work with. He really helped me and my family to move. I highly suggest to all of you and I have already suggest to all of my friend. Great guy, amazing support.


Marshall was an awesome mortgage officer to work with! My clients needed a certain deal on a mortgage and he got it for them. They also needed him to come through in a pinch for them last minute and he saved the day right at the end! I have no problem recommending Marshall for your mortgage needs!!

- Art Kelly.

I have used Marshall to work with my clients on their home loans, and they have never been disappointed. He has closed the loans on time, locked down great rates, and contributed significantly to removing the stress out of the home loan process. His knowledge of VA loans is second to none and, as a veteran, it is nice to have someone who has the heart for other veterans. I would always recommend Marshall Sparkman to guide you through your home loan process. He is a veteran who has “Got Your 6”.

- Chuck Campbell.

Marshall and his team were exceptionally specific, professional and kind during my entire process. They informed me of my required documents, responded quickly to all my questions and assistance requests, as well as prayed for me during the process. That means so much to me. I highly recommend this gentleman, his team and Franklin Synergy Bank for any needs.

- Dee Sloan.

Marshall was super helpful through the whole loan process. I was never lost in the process and was well informed till the end. The personalized informational videos of the loan process and next steps were very creative and a neat way to keep the client informed and feeling like they were the only one that mattered.

- Kirkland Dunston.

Your Renovation Wish List Could Include...

Increase window size

Bring in more natural light

Finish a basement or attic

Create a mother-in-law apartment or guest space

Correct foundational issues​

Protect your investment for the long-term

Add a detached garage when one does not exist​

There’s room for everyone

Knock down walls​

Open up the floor plan to create versatile, welcoming spaces

Flood-proof your property​

Add a retaining wall to prevent expensive damage

Repair the pool​

Tired of leaks and cracks? Fix the pool & start enjoying it

Expand or refresh the kitchen​

Cooking is just more fun in an updated kitchen

Add square footage​

Growing your family? Grow your home alongside it!

And so much more! ​All funded by your single, convenient FHA 203(k) Renovation loan.

And start planning your renovations now!

After remodeling, ​74% of owners have a greater desire​ to be in their home, and ​65%​ ​have increased enjoyment​ in their home.

Source: National Association of Realtors® 2020 Remodeling Impact Report

How Does a Renovation Loan Work?

Depending on the types of repairs you plan to do, ​you have two options​ when it comes to securing a FHA 203(k) Renovation Loan: Limited and Standard.

The Limited 203(k) loan

The Limited 203(k) loan is for non-structural or “cosmetic” repairs. It covers up to $35,000 in renovation costs. With a Limited loan, you can do nearly anything that doesn’t affect the home’s structure! ​Think kitchen and bathroom remodels, carpet and flooring replacement, painting, appliance replacement, and much more.

The Standard 203(k) loan

The Standard 203(k) loan is a loan for projects with repair costs over $35,000. It can be used for structural or non-structural repairs. With a Standard Loan, you have even more flexibility. ​You can expand the home’s footprint, improve accessibility for differently abled people, and even move the home to a different site.

Find out how to buy my first home! Discover what you can do with an FHA Purchase or Renovation loan!

What Do First-Time Home Buyers Need to Know About Buying a Home?

Why should I buy a home now and not rent until I can save up a massive down payment?

Because there are plenty of options for lowering your down payment! For example, the FHA loan program, which includes loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration, is great for people with low credit scores and not a lot saved for a down payment. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t save for a down payment—but remain open to all of the options available.

How will I afford my home?

Pre-approval for a first-time home buyer can be a major step in the process, and it’s easier than you think. A pre-approval is essentially a (conditional) promise from a lender that they can offer you the mortgage terms you need to make an offer on a house. This requires an application process that’s much simpler than you might imagine—and great for first-time home buyers who want to shop around and demonstrate to a seller that they’re serious about their offer.

Should I save for a down payment?

Absolutely. Just because you don’t necessarily have to make a 20% down payment on your first home doesn’t mean that you should eschew the process completely. Having a substantial down payment saved never hurts.

I have a low credit score. What kinds of loan programs are there for me?

If you go through the application process and make sure that your payment is in line with what you can fit within your budget (the typical recommendation is a mortgage that takes up no more than 25-33% of your household budget), then you’ll find it’s possible to afford your first home—and the process may be much simpler than you imagined

How do I get pre-approved?

In addition to the FHA loan program as mentioned in the previous answer, you should also look at your qualification for: the VA loan program, the USDA loan program, and even the Good Neighbor Next Door buyer aid program.

What should I do next?

Simple. Click any of our buttons above and find out if your first time home purchase can be as easy as we say it is here. Don’t worry about a low credit score, either—you’ll find that there are plenty of programs out there that can help.

Find out how to buy my first home! See if you’re eligible for your first home loan in 60 seconds or less!

Your home, your way.
That’s the FAIR WAY!