You’ve thought about it for a while now and the time has finally come. You are ready for your first house. Being a first time home buyer can be both a very exciting and terrifying moment for any person so it’s best to know what you’re getting into before taking the plunge to shop for your home. We’ve outline four tips we feel are essential for any first-time home buyer to know before starting the process.
Prepare and Plan
The first thing you want to do is find the neighborhood you want to live in. This can be determined based on school district, nearby friends/family or by budget. Wherever you land, look at surrounding values of houses to get a good idea of how big of a loan you will need. You should have a few thousand dollars saved as well for closing costs as well as a down payment. When placing your offer, a minimum of a $500 deposit is standard to hold your offer. Closing costs can sometimes be taken out of the loan itself, but most of the time it can cost thousands of dollars out of pocket during the closing. Saving for this beforehand will put you ahead of the game.
Watch Your Finances and Spending
The home buying process can sometimes take several months from beginning to end, and during that, all your spending will be tracked. Avoid opening any lines of credit or applying for additional loans. These things can have big negative impacts on your credit score, resulting in your loan being denied right before closing. Another important thing to consider is what finances you have to pay that you might not have had to pay before. Things like heat, air, garbage, electricity, wifi, cable, even the water you drink can end up costing hundreds of dollars in bills every month. Make sure you factor in all these expenses into your monthly budget when determining how much house you can afford.
Find a Realtor
Your Realtor should be your best friend in the home buying process. They act as your representative in negotiations and shop the market for houses in your budget. When finding a realtor, they will ask you to sign a contract with them. You won’t have to pay them any money until you close on a house, but you won’t be able to view houses with other realtors or proceed with any negotiations without them. So, finding the right person to represent you is critical in making the process as stress-free as possible. The good news is, your realtor does all the heavy lifting for you in finding the houses, discussing negotiations with sellers, preparing documentations, and organizing closings.
Find the Right Home for You
Finding the right home can take time. Most people will view at least 10-20 different houses before finding the right one. Don’t settle for something because you are tired of looking or you’ve become discouraged. This is something you will have to live in for years. The neighborhood you will have to deal with daily. Pick a house you love in a neighborhood you call home. Our Mortgage Origination Officer, Courtney Minor, has some words of advice on what to look for when searching for your new home.
If you are ready to start this exciting process, contact us to discuss mortgage pre-approval options. Having a pre-approval will help you determine the range of house you can afford. Our mortgage experts are ready to finance your home today! Contact us at 800.323.0048 to apply today or click here to learn more.