Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Young Couple Standing Outside Dream Home

Buying your first home? Here are some tips you should consider.

You’ve finally made up your mind about buying a house, and it feels exciting, yet you don’t know where to begin. With so many options available and decisions to take, it can feel overwhelming - How much of a budget should I have? What about down payment? Should I consult a real agent?

Worry not, we’re here to make this easier for you.

Get pre-approved

To get a competitive edge on other buyers and demonstrate to the seller that you are serious about buying a house, get a letter of pre-approval regarding a mortgage. The letter will provide an estimate of how much you will be lent based on your financial situation. It is bound to give you an upper hand on other buyers.

Visit open houses

If you’re really not sure where to start, simply begin by visiting open houses in your area to get an idea of what is currently available in the market and what might pique your interest. If you’re still confused, simply visit an experienced local agent who can make a list of houses to look at, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about the houses you visit. When was the house built? When were important amenities like air conditioning, last replaced?

Start saving for the down payment

It’s not too early to start saving for your down payment on the house. Although it is normally believed that 20% is the minimal amount to put down, it can be as low as 3%. The downside to this is that you will be required to obtain mortgage insurance by the lender as an assurance in case of failure of payment from your end. So save up your bonus and other amounts like tax return towards your down payment. This will be immensely helpful in reaching your goal.

Local and State assistance programs

In California, assistance from California’s Housing Finance Agency is available for first time home buyers pertaining to down payment and closing costs. So here’s your chance of obtaining help in this regard; explore it further and see if you qualify.

Find the right agent

Hiring an agent that you get along with well is also important in the process of buying your first house. If you connect and work well with the agent, it will prove to be helpful in more ways than one in finding the perfect house.

Aim for something below your budget

Even though you may be tempted to find a home that cuts close to your budget, try to find one that falls below the amount you have been approved for. This will give you some room to cover expenses that may occur down the line or even allow you to bid on a house if there are several buyers. But be careful to not to sign up for a mortgage payment that you can’t afford in the long run.

Now that you have some handy information regarding your first home purchase, we hope things have been somewhat clarified. Keep these useful tips handy for your home hunt, and we’re sure you’ll find the ideal home you have in mind.