First Time Homebuyer
When it comes to buying your first home, the uncertainty of whether you are qualified or what you should do first, can often be overwhelming. Here are three areas you should ask yourself prior to starting the search for your first home.
1. How do I know if I’m ready to buy a home?
Take a look back on your job and financial history and evaluate a few key concerns. Have had a steady source of reliable income and have been employed on a regular basis for the last 2-3 years. Do you have a good record of paying your bills on time? Do you have money saved for a down payment and closing costs? (A good mortgage broker can let you know of programs with no and low down payment options) These will be some of the deciding factors in the type and amount of loan you can be approved for. What would you be comfortable with in a monthly mortgage payment?
2. Where should I be looking for a home?
Every situation is unique. You may be looking for a home near your job, trying to move closer to family or moving closer to a better school system. How much space do you need? Are you just starting a family? Simply looking to move out on your own? The amount of space will distinguish whether a studio space will work great for you or a bigger 2-3 bedroom house will fit better. Once you have the kind of space you want in mind, think about the kind of neighborhood or which part of town you’d like to move to best. A great way to find this out is to talk to your family and friends as well as making a “To Do” list of what amenities or community places you’d like to live near.
3. What should I be looking for in a home?
The best way to figure this out is, to make a wish list with everything you can think of that you would like in a new home. From that list, decide on the top 5 things that are a big “must-have” for you and set them aside. Take a look at these 5 “must-haves” and organize them so that they are listed from most important first. Keep in mind, especially for a first time homebuyer, that you may have to compromise on a few things to find a home that best fits your circumstances. With these 5 “must-haves” you now have a list of essentials needed in your new home.
From here, look for a great mortgage broker who can not only prequalify but preapprove you. On a preapproval, the mortgage consultant will review your credit, income and asset documentation. Then you will know exactly what you can afford. With all of the above information, a realtor can then show you homes that not only fit what you want but what you can qualify for. Now you are well on your way to becoming a First Time Homebuyer!