Will & Kristin, Potrero Hill Newlyweds.
Putting them first since 2005.


Every first is a big deal

But a big deal doesn't have to mean big stress. Learn more about our loan options for first-time homebuyers.

Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or are still searching, we've got your back. We're here to help with everything from home ownership education, experienced loan professionals, and first-time home loan options with attractive rates and terms.

We'll pretty much do everything (except unpack).


Ready to get started? Check out this quick presentation on things to consider about planning for home ownership.


Scroll down or click on a topic to learn more:

Benefits of home ownership

First things first

Types of rates

SF Fire Credit Union lending practices



Benefits of home ownership

Learning about the financial benefits of home ownership may help the process seem less intimidating, more rewarding.


While it's true the real estate market moves in cycles – sometimes it's up, sometimes it's down – it's also true that, over time, real estate consistently appreciates, and is generally considered a smart investment.


Home ownership is a great tax -shelter, and tax rates favor homeowners. As long as your mortgage balance is smaller than the price of your home (and the improvements you've made), mortgage interest is fully deductible on your tax return. Interest is the largest component of your mortgage payment.1


Real estate property taxes paid for a first home are fully deductible for income tax purposes.1

First things first

First-time homebuyers should take some time to reflect on these questions. Then talk to our Loan Consultants if you feel you need more answers.


Make sure you know your credit scores and employment history. Once every 12 months, you can get a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com.


Based on your current budget, how much can you spend? What kind of place would you like to call home?


Where do you think your income level will be 1-3 years down the road? 5-10? 15-30? Do you think your household expenses will grow or stay the same? These are important things to consider, because the loan you choose today will be a part of your life tomorrow.

Types of rates

Before you start packing up and labeling boxes, it's important to understand the types of home loan rates, and determine which type is right for you.

Fixed rate

If you're looking for some stability in your loan, a fixed-rate loan might be the way to go. This 'traditional' type of loan maintains the original interest rate for the entire life of the loan, and is available in 15 or 30-year terms.

Fluctuations in market rates over the term of your loan won't have any effect on your loan payment.

Generally speaking, interest rates on 15-year fixed-rate loans are lower than 3o-year loans.


Adjustable rate

With an adjustable-rate loan, the interest rate is fixed for the first 3 to 5 years. Initially, interest rates with this type of loan are lower than fixed-rate loans, but they will adjust later.

It's important to remember that adjustable-rate loans are subject to market fluctuations, and this may affect your monthly payments.

Lower interest rates and lower initial monthly payments could help you qualify for a higher loan amount than a fixed-rate loan.

Generally speaking, interest rates on adjustable-rate loans with a fixed-rate for 3 years are lower than interest rates on 15-year fixed-rate loans.

SF Fire Credit Union lending practices


We are a Bay Area-based organization that always puts our members, and the community, first. Which is why we choose not to make sub-prime loans. A sub-prime loan is a loan that does not meet Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac guidelines. They are much riskier for both lenders and borrowers. Examples of sub-prime loans include Alt-A, Stated Income, and NegAm.

We have always followed strict underwriting criteria that meet the guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This policy helps us to protect the financial well-being of our members, the Bay Area, and the broader community.


Equal Housing Lender


SF Fire Credit Union is an equal housing lender. We act in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Find out more here.


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As a local credit union, we measure our success one member at a time. We want to get to know you and help you achieve your goals. Come into a branch or call us today. Our people are happy to serve you.

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  1. Please consult a tax advisor about mortgage interest rates and property tax deductibility.