April 24, 2019

First-Time Home Buyer Tips

Owning a home for the first time can be exciting – and scary – for many people. While owning a home comes with the exciting part of decorating and painting, it comes with a lot of responsibilities too. If you’re a first-time home buyer or starting to house hunt, here are some tips to consider.

Reduce consumer debt.

You should feel comfortable in your first home and should only have to worry about paying the mortgage, utilities, maintenance and having a rainy-day fund. If you have loans and credit card debt, consider paying them off before you take on one of the most expensive decisions of your life.

Get pre-approved.

First, if you are intending to purchase a home within 60-90 days, get pre-approved. Today’s market is fast paced and many properties are moving quickly. Having a pre-approval letter will show the buyers that you a serious first-time home buyer.  You will have to visit a mortgage lender where they evaluate your credit and income to determine the amount you can borrow and the interest rate. Then, you will receive a letter to present to the buyer. Remember: a pre-approval letter may only be valid for 60-90 days.

Review your budget.

When you’re reviewing your budget and establishing a mortgage payment you are comfortable with, don’t forget about other cost factors. Consider taxes, insurance, closing costs and maintenance to the home. If you are building in taxes and insurance into your mortgage payment, your monthly mortgage payment will be higher. You can also choose to pay your taxes and your insurance separately. Closing costs can range between 1-5% of the purchase price and doesn’t include title insurance or other miscellaneous fees.

Hire a professional inspector.

Inspectors evaluate the property and determine if there are any faults or concerns. Do your research for a professional and unbiased inspector to provide you with the best feedback. Follow the inspector through the process to review all areas of the home and never hesitate to ask questions.

As a first-time home buyer, you may experience a lot of emotions. Excitement, fear, stress, eagerness – they’re all part of the process. Remember to do your research so you can feel comfortable about the next steps.

This summary is for general informational use only and may not include all relevant information.