Home ownership is a big commitment. As Dave of State PM points out, for most people it’s the biggest investment in their life. The buying process can be intimidating and overwhelming for first-time buyers unless it is broken down into manageable steps. Before you even start looking at homes you need to gather pertinent information and make some important decisions.
Know Your Credit Score
Your credit score is one of the primary factors lenders use in deciding whether or not to approve your loan and what the terms will be on the loan package they offer you. If your score is below 700 you should consider doing the work necessary to improve it before you talk to a lender. A low-interest rate will be worth thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage.
Get Pre-Approved Before You Start Your Search
You need to know how much money you can borrow to purchase a home before you start looking. Pre-approval means you should be able to get a loan for a certain amount of money as long as your credit score and financial situation don’t change. The lender will give you a pre-approval letter. This letter can help make you more competitive in the event you and other potential buyers are bidding on the same house.
Decide What You Want
You need to decide what kind of home you’re looking for. A condo may be more suited to your lifestyle than a single-family home for instance. You have to decide how many bedrooms and bathrooms you and your family need. Location is very important. If you have children there may be a certain school district you want to live in. Being specific about your needs will help your real estate agent select the properties that best fit them.
Choose a Real Estate Agent Who Knows the Local Market
When you start looking for a new home you need a real estate agent who is well informed about what properties are worth in the area. You could end up overpaying for a home otherwise. You want to choose a professional who is working in the business on a full-time basis and has a history of successful sales. There are companies like ConveyOnline.com.au that can handle all the legal aspects of your transaction for a fixed fee.
Understand All the Expenses Involved Before Making an Offer
First time home buyers sometimes assume the only expense involved with buying a home is the monthly mortgage payment. Instead of being unpleasantly surprised you need to discuss with your agent all the costs associated with buying and maintaining any house you are interested in making an offer on.
You will have to put down earnest money when you submit an offer to the seller. There will be a down payment and closing costs. Your monthly house payment will include the principal, interest, taxes, and insurance. You may have to pay an annual or monthly association fee. It’s important for you to feel confident that you can handle these expenses before you make a long term commitment.
Newly middle-aged wife of 1, Mom of 3, Grandma of 2. A professional blogger who has lived in 3 places since losing her home to a house fire in October 2018 with her husband. Becky appreciates being self-employed which has allowed her to work from 'anywhere'. Life is better when you can laugh. As you can tell by her Facebook page where she keeps the humor memes going daily. Becky looks forward to the upcoming new year. It will be fun to see what 2020 holds.