First Time Home Buying
As overwhelming as buying a car can feel in the dealership, buying a home can feel as overwhelming as the home’s price tag. Buying your first home is both an investment opportunity and a place you may live for the next thirty years, if not more. Here we will give a few helpful tips and tricks on overcoming your house buying anxiety through proper preparation and knowledge.
Save Up For Your Down Payment
A down payment can be 20% of the total cost of the home. There are programs such as FHA financing and VA financing that require far less (0% to 3.5%) but depending on your personal situation and the property you want to buy, it may be even more. You may need to be diligent over saving your money and cutting back on frivolous expenses. You may need to have saved up thousands of dollars before ever starting to think about buying a home. Work with your Realtor, a financial advisor and a qualified lender familiar with the area to work on your savings and see how long it will take you to afford your home.
Research Assistance Programs
This is a big one that could save you thousands of dollars over the next three decades. Many towns, cities, and states have first time home buyer programs that will either help you with your down payment or assist you in getting the best possible interest rate from your bank or credit union. These programs are designed to help first time homebuyers with the transition and help them accumulate the wealth and financial portfolio that property ownership is able to provide.
Budgeting And Credit
Learn how much you can afford. This isn’t like renting an apartment where some utilities are handled and you don’t have to worry about the water heater breaking at the worst possible time. You are now responsible for all the utilities and the damages and breakdowns at your home. You need to know what the property tax situation is and what the heating and cooling bill for the home can cost.
Also, be aware of your credit history before stepping foot into the bank to discuss mortgages. You get one free order of your credit score per year and you should use it to your advantage. Find out if there are any missing debts that you may have been unaware of or have become negligent on paying off. This will save you tens of thousands of dollars through the loan interest rate. Then, be sure to freeze your credit and keep it balanced so that you can maintain your credit score and not have any surprises pop up during final negotiations.
Stick To Your Budget
When looking at homes, be sure to stick to your budget. This may seem easy but once you have fallen in love with a house with the granite countertops you have always wanted, it can get a little bit more difficult. There is always room to negotiate in purchasing a home, so don’t be afraid to go a little higher than your initial limit, but if you can’t back the seller down from the original number into your acceptable range, walk away from the table. Don’t get trapped in a house you can’t afford, because a foreclosure could ruin your credit for years to come.
Get Into A Few Homes
You may think you know what you are looking for in a home, but you never really know until you visit a house. Things you would have never thought you would have an opinion on like countertops, hardwood floors, the plants on the outside of the home may make or break a purchase decision. All of this will factor into whether or not the house feels like a home to you. See all of the different varieties of home you can purchase and learn more about yourself and what you want in a home in the process. You will also learn just what to expect from houses inside and outside of your price range.
Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage
Speak to a qualified lender familiar with homes in the area(s) you prefer and get pre-approved for a mortgage to purchase your home. If you have been working with a financial advisor for years you will know what to expect when you finally tell them that you are ready to purchase a home. Make sure you understand the potential interest rates and the terms of the agreement. Make sure you are aware of variable or fixed interest rates on the loans as that may affect the pricing of your home in different markets.
Buy For Today .. And Tomorrow
Dream big! If you and your partner are just starting out, consider buying a home that will fit any future children. Homes are not just investments in your portfolio – they are a huge part of your life, possibly for decades to come.