Now that you’ve made the decision to purchase your first home, your friends at First World Mortgage would like to congratulate you on this major life decision! Becoming a homeowner, especially for the first time, can stir up some feelings of anxiety and excitement. With the help of your Mortgage Loan Officer at First World Mortgage and your experienced Real Estate Agent, you will soon begin to feel like a seasoned house hunter!
- Tip # 1: Do Your Homework
Did you know that there are a number of incentives available to first time home buyers? Everything from a 3% percent down payment on a Conventional home loan to a CHFA home loan with down payment and closing cost assistance. These are just a few of the ways that mortgage lenders can help turn your dreams of homeownership into a reality.
An FHA home loan, for instance, is especially appealing to first time homebuyers. The best way to find out what’s available, in terms of down payment requirements, interest rates, and mortgage programs is to speak to a qualified mortgage loan officer. They can assist you in finding the best home loan that works with your unique situation.
- Tip # 2: Save Save Save
Although many home loans are geared toward offering lower down payments to first time homebuyers, it’s important to save as much money as possible. The reason for doing this is so you will have enough to provide an earnest money deposit (if applicable), pay for closing costs and still have a decent amount of funds left over to furnish and decorate your new home.
- Tip # 3: Get Your Credit Profile in Order
When you apply for a home loan, the mortgage lender will need to access a copy of your credit report and will use the information to determine your creditworthiness and/or interest rate. This means that you will want to make sure that the information contained in your credit report is accurate and up-to-date. If you would like to see what your credit score is on your own, you can do this by requesting a copy of your file from each of the three major credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
In addition to past credit history, mortgage lenders will also look at your current debt-to-income ratio in order to determine whether or not you can afford your dream home. This means that you should consider paying down some of your existing debt and avoid taking on any new debt before applying for a mortgage.
- Tip # 4: Start Your House Hunt
With the internet being what it is today, it is no surprise that many potential homebuyers start their search online. A Realtor Estate Agent’s website is designed to not only list real estate, but also to educate homebuyers as they move through the process of searching for a new home. In addition, consumers can browse through color photos and virtual tours, both interior and exterior, along with information pertaining to the homes themselves.
The convenience of being able to find a home that you like without having to wait is just one of the many benefits to shopping for a house online. When you are finally ready to meet with a Real Estate Agent you will already have one or more homes that you liked in mind.
- Tip # 5: Patience is a Virtue
Perhaps you will find the perfect house this week, or maybe it will take a little longer. Some buyers find exactly what they are looking for right away, while others have to do a little more searching to find their dream home. As a first time home buyer, it is a good idea to begin the process with an understanding that good things really do come to those who wait. You may see a number of homes, take numerous photos and may even make an offer or two, but patience may very well be the key to finding your new home.
- Tip # 6: Take Notes
While you are in the process of seeing a lot of homes, it will be impossible to remember the features of each. A good rule of thumb while housing hunting would be to consider taking a notebook and writing down each unique or defining aspect that you like or dislike about a particular house. This information, along with any photos will help you greatly when it’s time to make your decision.
- Tip # 7: Don’t Settle
A home is a big investment and it could, quite possibly, be the largest investment you will ever make. For this reason, along with the fact that you will be living in the home every day, make sure that you get what you want and are happy with your decision. There could be an instance where you need to make some type of compromise quickly. It is important that you avoid choosing something just because it’s within your price range or you feel as though it’s your only option. New houses are placed on the market every day and, as a buyer, the next one listed may just be your dream home.