Buying Your First Home? Read Our Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Buying a home is an exhilarating process, yet one that is often fairly stressful. As one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, those mixed emotions are completely understandable, although they do not make it any easier to secure a great home purchase. When buying a home, use the tips for first-time homebuyers below and alleviate much of the stress during the homebuying process.

1. Credit: A Scary Six-Letter Word

Credit is the primary factor in determining if you’re approved for a mortgage, the mortgage payments you’ll make, and the interest rates on the loan. The better your credit, the lower your mortgage payment and interest rates. Check your credit before you decide to buy a home. Resolve any credit issues and dispute errors that you notice in the report. Credit scores range from 350 – 850. A credit score of 700 or better is considered good credit, while anything below 600 is considered bad credit.

2. Understand the Steps of Buying a Home

Purchasing a home is always complex and is best handled with the help of a real estate agent. Not only can the agent help close the deal, they’ll help you locate the perfect home, in the perfect neighborhood with all of the perfect amenities, at the price perfect for your budget. Choose a well-experienced, trustworthy agent to help with every aspect of the homebuying process. Research the mortgage lenders and get approved for a loan. There are several steps involved in buying a home. Each step is as important to complete as the next if you want to live in the home that best suits your needs.

3. More Than Just a Mortgage

If you can afford a mortgage payment, you’re on the right track to owning a home. One of our most important tips for first-time homebuyers is to be aware of additional costs. Before you rush to sign on the dotted line of any contract, understand that homeownership involves far more expenses than the mortgage. Insurance coverage, property taxes, homeowners association fees, and other miscellaneous costs can add quite a bit to what you originally thought was an affordable payment. Before rushing into the deal, make sure these fees together with the mortgage are still within your budget.

4. No More Loans

Once you’re approved for a loan and your offer has been accepted on a house, you might be tempted to finance another purchase or two. After all, new living room furniture and a bedroom set are in order for the new home. Stop yourself from making this decision! Most lenders pull credit reports before closing on a home to determine if the borrower’s financial standing has changed since the loan approval. Any change in financial status could send the deal spiraling downhill.

5. Obtain a Home Inspection

A home may appear flawless at first glance but don’t let the first impression sway you from obtaining a home inspection. Trained home inspectors look past the aesthetic appeal of the property and report on any issues they find, both minor and major. A professional home inspector can find serious flaws and defects in the home (damaged roof, damaged plumbing system, foundation damage, etc.) that makes it easier to decide if the property is worth the investment.

Final Thoughts

Buying a home is a tedious process that’s worth the effort once you sign the mortgage and settle into your new home. Use the tips for first-time homebuyers above to minimize the headaches of the homebuying process and you’ll find it far more rewarding.

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