Being a first time home buyer can be a exciting but daunting experience. There is a lot to understand about the first time home buyer process in Pennsylvania let alone your mortgage options. In this undertaking, you really need the guidance of a experienced Pa mortgage loan professional who takes the time to understand your goals, budget and overall financial picture to help you make the best decision. There are a lot of first time home buyer loan programs out there so it's worth exploring your options. After all, it's a big decision you're going to live with a for a while. Getting prequalified is the first step of the journey.
Pa First Time Home Buyer Pre-Qualification
The absolute first thing you want to do as you consider buying your first home is to take a hard look at your finances. Consider how you are living now, what you are spending each month, and how much you have left over. Buying is home is an expensive proposition and maintaining a house isn't cheap either. That said, after a thorough review of your finances. (Yes, that means W-2's, tax returns, withholding, paystubs, bank accounts, 401k, savings, etc) You will want to consider your job stability (and your spouses). Believe me, your Pa lender is going to be considering it (and also verifying it with your employer during the loan process).
If things look good there, you will want to move on to your credit history. Hopefully you've been able to establish good credit. Maybe you've had a visa or discover card that you pay on time, a car loan or student loans. You can get approved for a Pa mortgage with less than perfect credit but it's much easier if you have good credit to begin with. An experienced loan officer will run your credit (all 3 reports) and do an accessment of the report with you to see where you stand. Your loan officer may also be able to make some recommendations to you to improve your credit.