Buying your first home can be a daunting process, but with the right professionals in your corner, it is much more navigable. Hiring a reliable REALTOR and a trustworthy lender is key to a smooth process. Keeping these tips in mind as you enter the process is also valuable.
Compare lenders when buying your first home
Finding a trustworthy lender is really the result of comparing lenders. It is important to speak to more than one lender to see what they might be able to offer. Some lenders will take on more risky loans, and some only will loan to very stable clients. Be sure you understand associated fees and interest rates when comparing lenders, though. It is only helpful to compare apples to apples to know the true cost of going with a certain lender.
Get pre-approval when buying your first home (or buying any home)
Getting pre-approval from your lender will help set you up for success when you find the right home to purchase. Having pre-approval helps you in several ways. It helps you to determine your budget for buying your first home, as the lender will let you know the amount of the loan they pre-approve. It will also make you a more desirable buyer if you end up in competition. Pre-approval shows a seller that your loan is more likely to close than someone who does not have pre-approval. Pre-approval also allows you to act more quickly when you want to put in an offer on a home. Finally, it allows you to catch any errors on your credit report and address them before they become a problem at closing time.
Understand the full cost of home ownership
If you are accustomed to renting your home, you pay a monthly rent. This payment likely includes some of the utilities, repairs needed, lawn care, and more. When buying your first home, it is essential that you understand the full cost of home ownership. You are responsible for all utilities, cable, internet, sewage and garbage, water, HOA bills, and much more. Insurance and property tax payments will also fall to you. You will also be the one to pay for repairs and maintenance. Saving for these repairs and maintenance can be difficult, but you want to be sure you have something (some recommend 1-3% of the purchase price annually) set aside for these repairs.
Don’t assume you can’t afford buying your first home
Talk to a real estate agent you trust. Talk to several lenders. There may be a lender out there who specializes in finding a solution for someone in your situation. There are several down payment assistance programs, as well as loans designed to help those who may have a more risky lending profile.
The key to buying a new home is working with professionals who really want to help you find the right home at the right price for you. The first step is finding an agent who can help you through the process, and Key Realtors would love to help you unlock those dreams. Call us at 281-454-4500 to get started in buying your first home!