Tips for the Homebuyer

Buying a house is one of the biggest investments you will ever make. Read on for some of our tips to help ensure your home-buying process goes as smooth as possible!

Be Sure You Are Ready
The average mortgage loan term is 15 or 30 years, and while you don't need to live in the house for that long, it is a serious commitment. Owning a home also comes with the responsibilities of home maintenance, home repairs, HOA fees, and property taxes, just to name a few.

Get A Mortgage Preapproval
A mortgage preapproval is an official document from a lender that determines how much money you can borrow based on your financial standing, such as your income, credit score, and debt. When preapproved, this gives you an idea of what your home purchasing power is and what homes will be in your budget.

Maintain Your Credit
Now is not the time to pull out another line of credit, miss bill payments, or start spending money carelessly. These factors can affect your credit rating and result in the denial of your mortgage preapproval.

Look Into Your Loan Options
You may qualify for multiple loans like FHA loans, conventional loans, USDA loans, VA loans, and more. It would be worth looking into since the type of loan can determine your down payment amount, the type of home you can get, or it can even mean a more lenient financial requirement.

Save For a Down Payment
It is recommended to save about 20% of your budgeted home price for a down payment. As a first-time homebuyer, you may qualify for tax breaks, state programs, or the FHA loan to help out with your down payment.

Save For Closing Costs
In addition to your down payment, you will also need to cover closing costs. Some common closing costs include attorney fees, appraisal fees, escrow fees, inspection fees, and title insurance expenses, to name a few. It should typically be about 2-5% of your total loan amount.

Budget For All Homeownership Costs
You will also need to budget for all costs associated with home ownership. This includes monthly mortgage payments, home repairs, maintenance costs, unexpected emergencies, homeowners insurance, HOA fees, property taxes, and more.

List Your Wants and Needs in a House
The best way to do this is to create a list of qualities you want and need in your home. Once you determine what is negotiable and nonnegotiable, it will allow you to shop and compare your home options more efficiently.

Find An Experienced Real Estate Agent
Working with a real estate agent will help make your home-buying process go smoother. They can show you the properties in your budget, attend showings for you, help you write and submit the offer, negotiate on your behalf, and attend the closing with you to ensure everything is in order. The buyer's real estate agent will only work on your behalf.

Stick to Your Budget!
It's easier said than done but stick to your budget. You will likely need to account for moving costs, potential repairs, or renovations, and you don't want the extra financial stress of not being able to afford your new home.

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