Buying a home can be stressful and confusing. But especially if you’ve never done it before. A Realtor is very helpful in navigating the process. Nevertheless, below are a list of items every first time home buyer should know.
TALK TO A LENDER & A REALTOR
Even if you’re not ready to buy a home in the next couple of months, both a lender and a realtor can help you understand the process and give you lots of tips on what to do over the next few months/6 months/year to be prepared when you ARE READY to buy.
TALK TO A LENDER ABOUT MORTGAGE OPTIONS, RATES, AND PAYING POINTS
The differences between a 20 year or 30 year mortgage can make a big difference. So can .5% rate or paying down points to secure a lower rate option. Ask your lender what you qualify for.
START SAVING FOR A DOWN PAYMENT
You’ve probably heard about 20% down when buying a home, but did you know there are loans available for 3.5% down? If you’re a veteran, there are loans available for as low as 0% down. Yep! And there are also tax credits and assistance programs available to first time home buyers – ask about what you qualify for.
MAKE SURE TO SAVE FOR CLOSING COSTS
Closing costs are costs associated with the Title Company and Lender fees. They can range drastically depending on type of loan. Buyers can ask for a Seller to pay some (or all) of their closings costs. However, it’s best to be prepared and have the money available if you need it. For example, if there are multiple offers on a home you could risk losing the bid if you need closing costs but another offer does not. But please know, if you are unable to save the money for closing costs, it doesn’t mean you can buy. There are plenty of loans and options available. Talk to a Realtor to help explain this further.
START RESEARCHING HOMES & NEIGHBORHOODS
This can be the fun part! Start looking into neighborhoods you look and get an idea of the homes that are available, what price point they typically sell at, and what you can expect from owning a home in different areas.
GET A PRE-APPROVAL LETTER
When you’re ready to start looking at homes, get a pre-approval letter from your lender. It will state how much you qualify to borrow, etc. Your Realtor will need this to better help you in your home search. It will also be required when you submit an offer on a home…the Sellers will want proof that you have indeed spoken to a Lender and can afford the buy the home they are selling.