Being a first time home buyer, you do have some homework to do outside of just choosing a realtor. The realtor can explain and direct you to the best of their abilities in purchasing your home. Aside from the obvious step of saving money, here are 5 things you can do to make the process that much easier.
Understanding the full cost of home ownership
When you rent, the one payment covers just about everything (utilities excluded). You’re not fixing the broken sink, appliance, or any taking care of the grounds, its the owners responsibility. These are things as a new homeowner you need to brace and prepare for. Luckily, in most first time home buyer situations, taxes and insurance are included in your monthly mortgage due to the type of loan product most popular with first timers. If you’re pursuing a condo, you’ll have to factor in that condo fee (HOA) as an additional expense. These are all things you need to factor in and decide if you will be able to afford as well as the new mortgage.
Know the Buy Vs Rent Pros and Cons
Renting may actually be a better option for some individuals. Maybe somebody that isn’t completely set on living in a certain area due to career or personal factors. Some people aren’t able to own a home because they don’t have the time or funds to maintain it. Buying is becoming cheaper than renting in most areas of the country due to the tax breaks at the end of the year set for homeowners. This is something that you and a realtor can discuss and decide what makes more sense to pursue.
What mortgage works best for you
There are several different mortgage products that one can use to buy a home. Whether you want to put money down, no money down, or a couple thousand, there is something for you. Credit does play a factor into what you will and can qualify for. You should have a minimum of a 640 credit score to get a favorable mortgage product. The higher the score, the lower the interest rate you get locked in for the life of the loan. You can also decide if you’d like a 30yr, 25yr, or even a 15yr mortgage. This is something that you and your loan officer review and discuss from there what works best.
Start preparing your credit now
As previously mentioned, better credit gets you in a better situation. Start to work on things such as credit card balances. They hold the highest percentage of what makes up your credit score (35%). You’ll also want to get rid of the collections, old accounts and have no late payments within a year of applying for your mortgage. You’ll also want to not seek new credit and apply for many things while close to being in the process of buying a home. You have to be on your best financial behavior when in the process of buying.
I hope this things will help you on your journey of owning a home. I hope to be the Realtor to represent you in the process.