Are you looking into buying a home for the first time but don’t know where to begin? This process can be daunting and confusing when you don’t fully understand how it works. Ease your nerves and use our tips and tricks for first-time home buyers to help guide you on the path to purchasing a house!
Check Credit and Strengthen When Needed
The timeline for home buying is a lot longer than you would think. Check your credit score up to a year in advance to ensure it’s high enough to receive a loan and a decent interest rate. Don’t close any lines of credit at this time because that could harm you in the process. If you need to strengthen your score, keep your card balance low and build a better habit of paying bills on time.
Make a Budget
Before you even begin applying for loans, you must understand how much you can afford. Many fees go into this, but the main monthly bills you’ll pay upon purchase are the mortgage, property tax, and insurance. Determine your budget by monthly costs instead of focusing on the entirety of the purchase.
Be Familiar With Your Loan Options
Since various loans exist on the market, you must find one that fits your needs because it will determine how much the down payment will be. Some common home loans you can find are conventional mortgage loans, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans, Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) loans, etc. Each loan has separate qualifications. Apply for the loan you choose and get preapproval so that you have a solid foundation for when it’s time to go house shopping.
List Your Needs and Hire a Real Estate Agent
Write down a list of your want and needs. This way, when you hire a real estate agent, they’ll have a better idea of what to search for on the market. These agents will look at your wish list and consider it when they go out looking for potential properties. Plus, they have a plethora of knowledge and tips to share on the housing market you might not have as a first-time home buyer. Furthermore, these agents can inform you about current market trends that could alter your home buying experience.
Submit an Offer
Once you find the perfect home, it’s time to submit an offer. Use the real estate agent to negotiate a deal with the seller and write down contingencies so that you have an out if anything falls through with the house. Prepare yourself to pay the deposit and down payment, sign the paperwork, and begin the moving process!
Congratulations! You’re one step closer to finding a forever home. Don’t let this process intimidate you. Instead, use the resources around you and speak with friends and family who have been through this before. They’ll help guide you along the right path. Take your time, and don’t settle for a home that doesn’t meet your standards or requirements. Good luck!
Image Source: shisu_ka / Shutterstock