TIPS FROM THE PROS: HOW TO PURCHASE YOUR FIRST HOME
Whether you are 20 or 60, purchasing a home, even in a healthy market, can be complicated. Consulting with a professional that knows the in and outs is essential for a smooth home buying experience.
There are ample websites and apps that claim to be the source for a sparkling, move-in ready home, at a dirt cheap price. Promises of instant online mortgage approval and do-it-yourself advice can mislead anyone into believing that showing up alone to a closing table is simple. Anyone can do it!
The pros at Thwaites Realtors® recommend these steps before deciding if and when becoming a home owner is right for you.
1. IS OWNING A HOME RIGHT FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE?
Do you plan to stay where you are for at least several years? Can you commit to changing air filters and mowing the grass? How about dealing with septic system backups or a tree falling on the roof? The list of responsibilities is long when you transition from renter to owner. Not everyone is meant to own a home; all things must be considered when you make the biggest purchase of your life!
But remember-it is nice to pick your own paint colors and know that your mortgage payment isn’t going strictly toward you landlords vacation home!
2. WHAT ABOUT YOUR FINANCES?
Sure your new boat was really great last summer but how does it look on your debt to income ratio? The bank will be inspecting all of your spending habits and you should do the same. Often times, your mortgage payment will be higher than your rent for the same type of property. Don’t forget property taxes and home owners insurance to top it off. The bank may offer a preapproval for more than what you are willing to spend. Make sure you will still fit lake time into your budget!
3. CHECK YOUR CREDIT AND SAVINGS
They say no credit is as bad as bad credit. There are great online sources for checking your credit score and should be done frequently. Gas and store credit cards are an excellent way to start a credit history and making on-time payments will build credit quickly. Length of credit history is equally important so make sure your college age kiddos are building their credit now. Pay those student loans!
Depending on the type of loan you qualify for, a down payment may not be required but don’t count on it. Earnest money and a down payment of up to 20% are a possibility when purchasing a home. You may even need to change the carpet before you move in.
4. WORK WITH YOUR LENDER TO GET PREAPPROVED FOR YOUR HOME LOAN
Don’t put the cart before the horse! It’s very enticing to search through thwaitesrealtors.com to look for up-to-date listings from the MLS. You may fall in love with the $300k home but can only afford $125k; the latter will never look as good. Consult with your agent for lenders with the best interest rates and specials for first time home buyers. Don’t let the lending process hold up your opportunity to put in an offer on your dream home.
5. WORK WITH AN AGENT THAT WORKS FOR YOU
Professional agents have what it takes to make the deal. We know the best lenders, inspectors, and contractors to name a few. Trendy home websites will lead to the agent who paid the most for their ad, not the one with most experience. It’s important to choose your agent first! Thwaites Realtors® is comprised of only the best agents that are willing to negotiate for you.
If you are reading this as a seller, be patient! We have something for you too!