For most people, one of the most significant milestones of a financially disciplined life is having a house of their own. After all, shelter is touted as a fundamental need for survival. A house reflects your identity and is essential for building a family together. If you also have a goal of having a house in your name, then here are some tips to buy a first-time home that you should keep in mind.
- 1 Tips For First-Time Home Buyers
- 1.1 People Looking For Mortgage Application Tips:
- 1.2 Run a Thorough Credit Check and Pause any Type of New Activity:
- 1.3 Get a Pre-approval Letter Sorted:
- 1.4 Compare as Many Mortgage Rates as Possible:
- 1.5 People Looking for Mortgage Down Payment:
- 1.6 Explore Different Mortgage Options and Down Payment:
- 1.7 Check Out the Different Research State and Local Assistance Programs:
- 1.8 Start Saving for a Down Payment and Plan Earlier:
- 1.9 Looking For Tips for House Shopping?
- 1.9.1 Don’t Compromise on the Real Estate Agent:
- 1.9.2 Analyze your House and Neighborhood Carefully:
- 1.9.3 Attend as Many Open Houses as Possible:
- 1.9.4 Mistakes to avoid:
- 1.10 Bonus Tips:
Tips For First-Time Home Buyers
People Looking For Mortgage Application Tips:
First things first, you need to understand what a mortgage application entails. It is a document that needs to be submitted by an individual or co-buyers to buy out real estate. The mortgage application comprises information that includes extensive details.
Firstly, it talks of the borrower’s financial situation as well as their employment history. Both lenders and bankers use all of this information. This is done to determine whether the loan needs approval or not.
Run a Thorough Credit Check and Pause any Type of New Activity:
One essential thing to remember is that when you apply for a mortgage loan, a primary deciding factor to get approval will be your credit limit. It will help you in determining your interest rate and also the potential loan terms. Hence, we advise you to check your credit score before you even think of starting the home buying process.
Figure out what are errors coming in the way of your credit score and then look for new ways to improve your credit score. We also advise you to keep only your home loan intact before you jump on to a new loan. This will ensure that your score does not dip.
Get a Pre-approval Letter Sorted:
Another way to look at your mortgage application is to get a pre-qualified loan. This will help you get an estimate about how much a lender may lend to you, based on your debts and the income. As you near the process of buying your first home, it is ideal to get a pre-approval sorted.
This is when the lender will properly analyze all of your finances and also confirm how much they are willing to give you a loan. When you have a pre-approval letter in hand, it will make you look much more determined and also help you have the upper hand over everybody else.
It will also make the process a lot quicker than you would have thought. Hence, ensure that you get the letter in place before you go to real estate agents and start looking for the house you want.
Read More: Sell Your House Without A Realtor
Compare as Many Mortgage Rates as Possible:
As per a survey conducted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, you can save up to 3,500 USD in the first five years of borrowing a loan. We advise you to compare the mortgage rates between three different lenders. Once you get all three quotes, you can compare all of the rates and fees to get a better idea.
We would advise you to ask the lenders whether they would allow you to buy out any discount points. This is a provision wherein you would prepay the interest rate in order to get a lower interest rate on your loan. So, consider all the criteria carefully and weigh your options.
People Looking for Mortgage Down Payment:
When you are buying a house, remember that you would come across the term down payment often. It is a portion of the entire sales price of the house which you give in advance to the seller. The rest of the payment made to the seller is covered through the mortgage. Here are some tips you should remember for making the most of your down payment:
Explore Different Mortgage Options and Down Payment:
You do not need to settle down for the first mortgage option that comes your way. Each has a combination of negatives and positives. If you are not able to get enough down payment, then here are the options to consider:
- Conventional mortgages conform to the standards set by approved entities such as Freddie Mac. They require down fees of as less as 3%.
- Federal Housing Administration Loans are loans that permit down payments as low as at a rate of 3.5%.
- Another option is to consider loans provided by Veterans Affairs. Here you would not need to give any down payment at all.
We would also recommend that you consider all the different bank lenders before you put your finger on the final option. There are plenty of banks that can help you negotiate the rates and costs. Depending on your credit score and records, we would recommend that you weigh in all of your options carefully.
Check Out the Different Research State and Local Assistance Programs:
While you must have heard of multiple federal programs, there are also plenty of local assistance programs that are available at the disposal of first-time buyers. They offer different perks including:
- Closing cost assistance
- Discounted interest rates
- Tax credits
- Down payment assistance
Find out about the available options so that you can get the best possible options for evaluating the mortgage down payment.
Start Saving for a Down Payment and Plan Earlier:
Putting about 20% of the entire cost down is common practice. However, many lenders now allow a much lesser amount. Especially, for first-time home buyers, most lenders would be okay with a 3% down payment. But, if you put down lesser than 20%, it may mean much higher pay and costs in total for you during the repayment of the mortgage insurance.
A small down payment would actually be a lot more helpful than you would think! For instance, even a 10,000 USD paid off on 200,000 USD ends up being a 5% down payment for you but is definitely helpful.
Looking For Tips for House Shopping?
While all of the aforementioned tips are related to down payment and mortgage application, here are some tips you should remember while choosing the different house options:
Don’t Compromise on the Real Estate Agent:
Throughout the process, you would be working with your real estate agent. Hence, you must get somebody to get along with. The right agent should not only be highly skilled but should be patient enough to answer all your questions, especially the ones that you may have as first-time home buyers.
Analyze your House and Neighborhood Carefully:
While pricing is surely a criterion to consider while getting a house, there are many other factors you may want to look into. Firstly, analyze the neighborhood in terms of the schools it offers and the nearest hospital, etc. Figure out what your priorities are and accordingly shortlist all your options. Also, remember to look at the crime statistics of the area.
Attend as Many Open Houses as Possible:
Keep a list of questions ready when you go to attend the open houses. Right from when were the items replaced to when it was built to how old all the key systems are, you should ask whatever comes in your mind. This will help you make a better decision regarding the house.
Mistakes to avoid:
As additional tips, here are some mistakes that we recommend you avoid as a first home buyer:
Take into Consideration the Closing Costs:
While most of us end up paying attention to the buying costs, very few people are attentive towards the closing mortgage costs. Closing costs vary between 2-5% of the entire loan amount. You should also consider costs for the following closing costs:
- Title searches
- Home inspections
- Homeowners Insurance
Letting any Chance to Negotiate the Pass:
Sometimes as first home buyers, we don’t let our inexperience come into the picture. We recommend that you recognize all the loopholes and figure out where a negotiation can be made. For instance, check the repairs. Ask the seller if he will cover them or not. Run a thorough check before you sign off that mortgage.
Buy a Proper Home Owner’s Insurance:
First home buyers get so overwhelmed with all the associated costs, that they often end up skipping on important expenses such as home owner’s insurance. Remember to keep this in mind and buy the best option before any major potential expense comes on to your head.
We hope that all of the aforementioned tips have helped you. But, we also understand that buying a home for the first time can be a nerve-wracking procedure. Here are some more tips that we hope come in handy when you consider buying a house.
- Use a proper home affordability calculator
- Do not overdo your budget
- Save enough for your expenses post your move-in
A house can be an extremely expensive buy, one on which you may have to end up paying a lot more than you anticipated. In order to avoid unwanted expenses, we recommend that you take your time and analyze all options carefully before making a final decision.