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Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Oct 26, 2021

Thinking about buying your first home? You’ve come to the right place! Buying your first home can be fun and rewarding. However, the same cannot be said for the home buying process. According to a study of 2000 Americans conducted by Homes.com, 40% of the respondents said buying a home is the most stressful event they’ve encountered in their lives. Still, you can have a stress-free home buying experience if you prepare ahead and get the details right from start to finish. These tips for first-time homebuyers will ease you the stress of buying a home and make you feel more prepared for the process.


1. Get Pre-Approved

House hunting without a mortgage preapproval letter is like taking a trip to a new destination without a Google Maps app. You might reach your destination, but you’ll surely make a few unexpected detours along the way. A mortgage preapproval letter confirms to the seller that you’re serious about buying. Getting pre-approved can save you valuable time during house hunting. It helps you identify what you can afford, so you’ll only focus on houses that fall within your budget. Better still, preapproval can expedite the closing process since most of your info is already in the lender’s system.


2. Know What’s on Your Credit Report

Your credit score plays a critical role in getting you approved for a mortgage. When you apply for a mortgage preapproval, the lender will pull your credit report. Your credit score will help to determine:

  • Whether you qualify for a mortgage
  • Your interest rate
  • The loan terms you qualify for

 

So, it’s important to check your credit report before you embark on your house hunting journey. Experts recommend you look for opportunities to improve your credit score, such as:

  • Paying all your bills on time
  • Keeping your credit lines below 30% of their maximum

 

Also, click here to avoid common credit mistakes that many first-time homebuyers make.


3. Set a Realistic Budget

What price home are you in the market for? Figure out how much you can safely spend on a house before you start house hunting. Do the calculations to determine monthly mortgage payments that won’t hurt your lifestyle. When estimating the monthly mortgage payments, make sure to factor in other expenses such as insurance, utility payments, property taxes, and maintenance costs.

 


4. Start Saving Early

Buying a house takes money, and your required down payment may vary depending on the loan amount, the loan program you may qualify for, the location of the home, your credit rating and other factors. What is most important to consider is that saving early and often to help ensure preparedness is key and highly recommended. However, contrary to what is often ead or believed, you may not necessarily need a full 20% down to buy your first house. There are a number of programs that can be explored that will allow a first-time homebuyer to enter into a mortgage with as little as 3% down (and even NO down payments in some circumstances).  This is where a trusted Loan Advisor from Diamond Residential can walk you through what is possible and help you determine which program may be available to you, and which one will best benefit you. But save as much as you can, as often as you can. Besides the down payment, there are other costs you may need to cater for, including:

  • Closing costs
  • Moving costs

 

Make a habit of saving money each paycheck and stashing bonuses and gifts away in a bank to build up your savings.


5. Explore First-Time Buyer Programs in Your State

Many state housing authorities offer first-time homebuyer programs with perks such as down payment assistance, closing cost assistance, and tax credit. Consult one of our Loan Advisors to see the available programs in your region.

 

6. Work with a Reputable Real Estate Agent and Home Inspector

 

Good real estate agents are knowledgeable about the current housing market. They know the neighborhoods, housing inventory, the prices of similar properties in the region and will negotiate in your best interest. As such, aim to hire someone reputable, knowledgeable, and experienced. You could ask your family, friends, and coworkers for recommendations.
In addition to a realtor, you may need to hire an experienced home inspector to check for compliance and assess whether the property has any hazards or structural defects.


Wrapping Up

Buying a home is not a walk in the park. But with careful planning and the right real estate agent at your side, you might find yourself with the keys to the house of your dreams in no time. Find a Loan Advisor close to you to take the firststep.


#firsttimehomebuyer, #drmc, #wegetitdone