If you’re ready to start the homebuying process, it can be hard to know exactly where to start. As a first-time homebuyer, you might be left with a lot more questions than answers before you even begin your house-hunting.
A quick homebuyer guide outlining the steps to buying a house can help you avoid common mistakes first-time homebuyers make. Here are a few helpful tips to consider when you’re ready to go from renting to owning.
- Take a peek at your finances
Before you even step foot into your first open house and the excitement begins, make sure all your finances are where they should be to put you in the best position to afford the home of your dreams. Check your credit score before you even begin and be mindful of any large purchases you may be looking to make during the homebuying process. All these items could impact your ability to buy, so know where you stand before you fall in love with a home.
- Explore your loan options
There are many different options when it comes to home loans from fixed to adjustable rate loans. Those options expand if you are building or renovating and often there are different options for first-time homebuyers. When you’re considering your options, it’s important to keep in mind the down-payment amount and loan program to works with your long and short-term financial goals. Working with a trusted mortgage professional makes it easier to understand your options and what your financial position and goals will allow.
- Get pre-approved
Getting pre-approved for a loan could save you a lot of time, money and stress. It also puts you in a stronger position to purchase so you can search for a house with confidence in an often-competitive market. What is pre-approval? When your loan officer preapproves you for a home loan, he or she will look at your credit history and income to provide assurances that you will be able to purchase a home within a specific range. Typically, the loan officer will provide you or your real estate agent with a letter stating what loan limit, or total purchase price, you can afford.
- Go into each open house prepared
As a first-time homebuyer, don’t be afraid to ask questions. And a lot of them. At each open house, carefully consider the home’s current condition and take note of any repairs needed. Keep your budget in check and understand all the extraneous costs that come with buying a home (landscaping, utilities, property taxes, etc.). If you aren’t able to have all of your questions answered by the real estate agent at the open house, set up a private appointment to address every inquiry and concern.
- Communicate openly with your home loan partner
Your loan officer is there to help you every step of the way until the ink has dried on each final document prior to your move-in. Finding a home loan professional that understands your needs and has your best interest in mind is key toward the path of owning your first home.
Contact one of our home loan experts today and get ready to start house-hunting!