First-Time Home Buyer Getting Started

Buying a home can be both a rewarding and stressful experience. Before you head down the path to home ownership, it’s important to consider key questions, so you can prepare yourself and your family for this process. 

3 Key Questions to Ask First:

       1.  Is it better for you to buy?

Renting could actually be a more expensive long term, so many families opt to buy a home, especially if you intend to stick around for awhile.

Realtor.com shares a special Rent Vs. Buy” calculator that helps you gauge when you would cross over the “breakeven horizon.” The “breakeven horizon” is the point where buying equals the cost of renting.

       2.  Is it financially feasible?

Typically, buying a house would involve a down payment and then paying a mortgage monthly that could last up to 30 years. The ideal down payment outlined by Zillow is 20 percent because that can give you the best overall rates, but there are some down payments that can go as low as 3 percent.

Lenders want to loan money out to financially responsible individuals, so preparing yourself financially by making sure your credit score is excellent and having money saved is the best way to get set-up for a home loan.

       3.  Are you personally ready?

It comes down to a gut feeling as well. Do you feel like it is the time to buy a home? Can you be ready for whatever comes your way?

Owning a home is a big commitment and before signing the dotted line, you have to be ready to take on the little things like maintaining your lawn to basic indoor upkeep. There are major repairs like roof damage and structural issues that could come along as well. All of that would be in your hands.

Despite all the challenges that could drop on your lap, owning a home is also wonderfully gratifying.

Now, once you’re completely ready, be sure you go through the following steps in detail:

  • Check your credit

Before you do anything, make sure you are an ideal candidate for a home loan. Your credit report is important to lenders because it can give them a sense of your financial habits. Be sure you have a steady track record of paying all your bills on time as well. Here is a more detailed list from Realtor.com that outlines critical credit score information: http://www.realtor.com/advice/what-is-a-good-credit-score/.

  • Calculate your budget

Zillow has a handy calculator that potential home buyers can use to gauge their budget. A huge thing to keep in mind is just because you might be able to qualify for a higher loan, it might not be financially smart to take it. Really consider how much you want to spend as well as how much you can spend.

  • Find a great real estate agent

  • Get pre-approved by a lender

  • Look at homes

  • Make an offer

  • Closing on your home

  • Move-in!

Have Your Funding in Order and Ready to Start Searching?

 

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