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Five First Steps for First Time Homebuyers

Posted by Sharon Rosshirt on Monday, August 21st, 2017 at 8:00am.

So, you think it’s the right time in your life to step up to home ownership? Or perhaps you have sons or daughters who are, that might need some guidance.  It’s a big step, and having expert advice and a plan is essential. The home buying process can be overwhelming feel free to contact me early on.

Identify your Goals (Do a self-check)

It’s hard to hit a target that you can’t see clearly.  How much of your budget do you want to devote each month to a house payment? Many experts recommend no more than 30%. What type of property are you aiming for?  A house with a yard? A close in condo? Are there schools, employers, or particular locations you want to be close to? What is your ideal time frame to make this change? Do you have a lease you have to work around? If you are buying with another person, make sure you are on the same page with all these details!

Start Saving

One important step toward buying a house is to save some money to cover a down payment and loan costs, and the cost of moving.  You may need money for furnishings.

While a 20% down payment is ideal, there are plenty of programs to help you purchase with less. A good lender can help you evaluate which loan products will benefit you the most, and I can introduce you to a lender with a proven track record.

The best way to save for a home is to set up a consistent direct deposit into a savings account when you get paid. Saving as little as 10% of each paycheck can really start to stack up after a while, and you’ll be glad you have it when it’s time to buy.

Prep your Credit

A mortgage broker will want you to have at least three open lines of credit. That means if you have two credit cards and student loans, you are probably set. While you are saving for a loan, you’ll also want to make sure you are using and paying off your lines of credit. Showing that you are a responsible user of credit will help your credit score and make sure you get a good term on your loan.

This is also a good time to try to pay down old debt and avoid large purchases. Buying a home may be a stretch for some budgets, so it is a good idea to start preparing early!

Talk to A Mortgage Broker

A mortgage broker will be able to pre-approve you for a loan. They can pull your credit, analyze your income and find out a working estimate of how much home you could afford. They can also provide helpful feedback on how to improve your credit and give you helpful direction towards your goals. The sooner you get a professional analysis, the sooner you will know where you stand and what you can do.

Talk to A Realtor

It’s a good idea to bring in a Realtor early in the process.  We work with buyers on a daily basis, so you can benefit from that expert guidance throughout the process.  With a pre-approval letter and better idea of what dollar amount you can expect to shop with, a Realtor can guide you through the process of finding the best match for what you want in a home, and give you data to help you make a decision. I would be honored to have the job of helping you find that match, prepare an offer based on market statistics, negotiate on your behalf, and walk with you through the myriad of details between contract and closing.

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