First Time Homebuyers – What You Need to Know
Buying your first home is exciting! Whether you want a starter home, or you want a new build, you have a number of options to choose from. Before you get swept up in the home search process, here are some tips to help guide you:
Get pre-approved first.
Getting pre-approved is extremely important. Home loan rates are still low and there are many buyers out shopping for homes. Having a written pre-approval lets the seller know you are a serious buyer who’s credit and finances are in order to purchase their home. Pre-approval also allows you to see how much you can realistically afford to borrow.
Consider your must-haves.
Before your search begins, consider things that will be a must. For example, if you’re ready to start a family, or have children, maybe you’ll want to focus on houses in certain school districts. Or maybe, you’d prefer a home that’s not in a neighborhood with an association fee. How long will your commute to work be? Writing a list of must-haves will give you a strong jumping-off point and will help your realtor filter your search for homes that are best suited for you.
Avoid buying more house than you can afford.
Falling in love with a home is easy. But just because you qualify for a $300,000 loan doesn’t mean you can afford the monthly payment. You have to factor into that monthly payment, taxes, insurance and, if you’re putting less than 20% down, PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance). Pre-approval tells you what’s possible, not necessarily what’s affordable considering all of your financial obligations. So be honest with yourself and your realtor.
Don’t assume you need to put down 20%.
The reality is, not everyone has 20% to put down. At Argent, you can put as little as 3 percent down for a conventional mortgage. We also provide mortgage calculators to give you an idea of loan payments. In addition, we work with you from start to finish to ensure you get in the home of your dreams with an affordable monthly payment.