After all these years, it’s finally happening… You’re trading in the life of apartment living and are looking to buy a house of your own.
Not only are you going to enjoy the sense of ownership, but you’ll also love the freedom to design or renovate your future home in any way that you desire.
First things first though. You still have to hit the market and find a house that’s going to be the right fit for you and your family. That means seeing several properties to give yourself options.
Here are several smart home buying tips that all you first-timers need to know.
1. Find the Best Mortgage Lender
The prices on homes are climbing higher and higher, making it more difficult to afford the house that you’re after.
Fortunately, there are local mortgage lenders you can turn to so that your dream home doesn’t getaway.
A key thing is to not take the first offer you find. Shop around and get a few offers before settling on one that you believe makes the most sense for your situation.
You’ll be paying this mortgage off for the next 15 to 30-years, so you’ll want to take the time in finding the right fit before signing the dotted line.
2. Start Saving for a Down Payment Now
It’s never too late to start putting money aside for a down payment on a house.
Depending on the mortgage that you agree to, the down payment can be as low as 3-percent. However, that’s still a lot of money to fork upfront, so you’ll want to be prepared.
Your home buying process may take much longer than you’re anticipating. So if you start now, you may have a fair amount of cash saved up for the day that you make the big purchase!
3. Create a Budget
Whether you’ve been cruising the market and taken a few tours already or are just beginning that process, it’s time to create a budget.
Set a realistic amount for both the mortgage and the down payment you’re looking to spend. Try to come up with a monthly mortgage payment that would be ideal for your situation.
Be sure to factor in taxes to your budget so you don’t have any unexpected surprises.
4. Find the Right Buyer’s Agent
Many home buyers push themselves into a conflict of interest by hiring real estate agents that represent both you and the property you’re touring.
To avoid those situations, find a buyer’s agent that you feel is the best fit for your situation and firmly understands what you’re looking to accomplish.
After you’ve set the budget, make sure the buyer’s agent you hire has experience selling homes within that price range. It can make a huge difference (in a bad way) if they don’t.
5. Check Your Credit Score
Be sure to dedicate some time to your credit score by checking it early on in the process.
If your credit score is too low then it can cause a huge setback, and you may need a few months to get it corrected.
Checking this early on will help get everything where it needs to be before taking the first steps to buy your new home.
6. You Call the Shots
While the entire home buying process can seem like you’re being pushed in a million directions, it’s important to remember that you call the shots.
All these realtors and mortgage lenders can make offers, but they can’t force you to agree to anything. At the end of the day, it’s all in your hands.
If at any point you feel uncomfortable and haven’t signed or paid for anything, you can easily walk away.
7. Receive a Quote
One of the best things to know before shopping around for a house is the mortgage amount that you qualify for.
As such, be sure to start out by receiving a quote from a mortgage lender for a better idea of what that looks like.
This will also help you to filter out a few options during your search and fit yourself with a mortgage amount you can pay comfortably for years to come.
8. Knowledge is Power
Applying for a mortgage doesn’t come without its fair share of documentation that you’ll need to fill out.
Such things include pay stubs, credit history, photo ID, bank statements, tax returns and proof of renting history.
Be sure to educate yourself on what those are and valid forms of each to pass the “mortgage background test” with flying colors.
9. Build the Relationship with Your Agent
If at any point during your search it seems like your agent is getting off track from the goals you’ve expressed to them previously, don’t get discouraged.
Be sure to remind them of your initial goals, but also keep an open mind. Your agent has helped others just like you, so always consider their advice.
There may be things to consider that never crossed your mind. All of this will lead to finding the home that’s a perfect fit in the end.
Put These Smart Home Buying Tips to Use!
Now that you’ve seen several smart home buying tips for your first excursion, it’s time to start your search.
While the process may take a bit longer than anticipated, remember to keep your eyes on the prize.
Be sure to read this article on how to qualify for a mortgage for more information on that specific process.
For more inquiries, start out by getting a quote and we’ll be happy to assist you further!