Buying your first home is different than buying your second. For one, first-time buyers have never been through the process before and face a lot of unknowns. They also have to build a down payment from scratch, since they don’t have a house to sell. And without the benefit of home equity to help fund a home purchase, buying prospects can look a little different. In short, first-time buyers face some challenges other home buyers may not. So what can they expect from today’s market? Well, according to Fannie Mae’s chief economist, Doug Duncan, affordability is the top concern for first-time buyers. Prices have largely recovered from their post-crash decline and mortgage rates have been on the rise lately. That means, affordability conditions are changing. It also means for-sale inventory is the key factor to watch for buyers interested in an entry-level house. If the number of homes for sale rises, that should help moderate future price increases and give new buyers more homes to choose from. This could help balance the effect of higher rates and make finding an affordable home a little easier for first-time buyers. More here.