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Are you ready to buy your first home?

Posted on March 2, 2016
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03052016   new home

Homeownership brings many benefits. When you buy your first home, you'll become part of a community and experience the security of owning the roof over your head.

As a homeowner, you may also be able to:

  • Take control: Avoid rent increases and cancelled leases while creating a home that meets your needs and tastes.
  • Build home equity: Grow your assets with the principal portion of your mortgage payments and with potential property value increases.
  • Take advantage of tax benefits: Deduct mortgage interest and real estate property taxes on your income tax returns. (Consult a tax advisor regarding the deductibility of interest.)
  • Build your credit: Create a strong credit history by making on-time mortgage payments.

If you're looking to buy a home, let Union Plus help! The Union Plus Mortgage program offers exclusive benefits, like special hardship assistance when times get tough. Union members can also save $1000s when they use a Union Plus Real Estate Rewards agent to buy or sell a home.


What you can do to prepare to buy your first home

Create a financial plan 

  • Understand your credit needs and borrowing ability
  • Know your credit history, assess your ability to make payments, and determine whether you can borrow using collateral such as the equity in your home
  • Make a plan to get your credit in shape if necessary and establish a budget
  • Check your credit history
  • Compare your income and expenses
  • Total the amount of your savings and other down payment sources


Estimate what you can spend

  • Calculate your monthly payment. Use a payment calculator to estimate payments for various mortgage amounts and interest rates.
  • The total amount you need is the sum of your down payment and your closing costs.
  • If you have less than 20%, you will need private mortgage insurance (PMI) which protects the lender if a borrower stops paying the mortgage.
  • Closing costs and prepaid expenses are also a necessary part of getting a mortgage.


Set a time frame

  • Determine when you'd like to buy your home. Take into consideration your credit, cash flow, and savings.


Things to consider with homeownership

Homeownership is a serious and long-term commitment: financially, geographically, emotionally, and more. Give careful thought to these factors as well: 

  • Financial responsibility: You'll need to pay for utilities, maintenance, and repairs - on top of your mortgage payments, property taxes, and homeowners insurance.
  • Potential risk: Real estate often increases in value over time, but not always. Your property value can also go down.
  • Tighter ties: As a renter, you can pick up and move with short notice. When you own a home, selling it before moving on is more complicated.

Learn more about preparing for homeownership, and the mortgage benefits available to union members, by clicking here >>

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