So, you’re considering making your first home purchase? Congratulations! The home buying process provides both thrilling and nerve-wracking experiences at the same time. Although it’s difficult to know what to expect, we gathered a few tips to help you smoothly achieve your home ownership dream.
- Ready your finances
One of the most important factors in purchasing a home includes your credit score. This single number determines not only the loan rate but contributes to determining the loan amount as well. Obtain a copy of your credit report. Comb the report thoroughly for mistakes, unpaid or collection accounts. Resolve any discrepancies as quickly as possible. You also will need to line up a down payment. Larger down payments help you qualify for lower rates and larger loans.
- Consider ALL expenses
When budgeting for a house, many first-time homebuyers underestimate the expenses involved. Typically, mortgages include principal, interest, taxes and insurance. Beyond the mortgage, consider how much utilities, commuting and upgrades will cost. Common utilities include sewer, gas, garbage, electric and internet. Ensure that you budget for all of these expenses when determining if you can afford a particular house.
- Explore options
Research everything from loan options to agents. Many loan options exist to help a variety of homebuyers including conventional, FHA, VA and more. We recommend exploring alternative finance options such as grants along with state and local assistance programs as well. The right agent, one who truly advocates for you, will make navigating all of your options much easier.
- Acquire preapproval
Although being preapproved isn’t a guarantee, the letter does show that the mortgage lender checked your credit and verified your income to determine the amount you qualify to borrow. Some lenders even give full underwriting preapprovals that do guarantee the loan. Preapproval letters give you an edge over the competition with sellers seeking smooth, quick deals.
- Hire the right agent
You will be working closely with your real estate agent through out the entire purchasing process. It is essential that you find someone who works hard for you and that you get along with well. The right agent should be highly skilled, experienced, motivated and knowledgeable about your desired neighborhoods and the current market. Give us a call today. We’re happy to help find the perfect fit for you!