Buying a home is one of the most significant events that any person will experience in his or her lifetime. It is a very exciting decision and a big move. It is more than just purchasing a house- its about hopes, dreams, aspirations, determination and economic destiny of those involved. It is what you have always dreamed and now that dream is about to become reality.
However it is one thing to dream about buying that home you always wanted and it is another thing to be able to find it.
The knowledge needed to buy your first home will include learning about several different professional industries, including mortgage, real estate, inspection, appraisal, title, and insurance industries.
A few things to figure out are:
DETERMINE IF YOU ARE READY TO BUY A HOME
This will be the first step. Buying a house for the first time is a big decision. Homeownership is a lot more expensive than renting since you're responsible for added costs like home repairs, utility costs, garbage pickup, water, and electricity.
You also need to pay for taxes and insurance related to your home. These costs add up quickly, and if you are not financially prepared, you may end up in a bad position. So before moving forward with your plan, you will need to make sure you are 100% ready.
FIGURING OUT HOW MUCH HOUSE YOU CAN AFFORD
Without knowing how much house you can afford, you might waste time. You could end up looking at houses that you can't afford yet, or visiting homes that are below your optimal price level. For many first-time buyers, the goal is to buy a house and get a loan with a comfortable monthly payment that won't keep them up at night. Do not make the mistake of looking for a house over your budget. You do not want to be stuck with a mortgage you won't be able to afford a few months later. Keep in mind, beside your mortgage, you will also be responsible for others monthly bills like cars payment, utilities, credit cards... You need to make sure you have enough income to cover all those expenses each month.
START SHOPPING FOR A LOAN
Most people need a loan to make a home purchase. In many cases, it makes sense to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin shopping for a home.1? Your pre-approval can provide you with an idea of how much you can afford.
If you want more options, consider using a mortgage broker. With a mortgage broker, you have access to several different loan companies and programs. This can help you find you the best rates. Shopping for a mortgage is like shopping for a car or any other expensive item: It pays to compare offers. Mortgage interest rates vary from lender to lender, and so do fees such as closing costs and discount points. A broker can shop for multiples rates from different lenders.
FIND THE BEST PAYMENT OPTIONS AND LOAN TYPES.
When it comes to your mortgage you may be surprised at the different loan types and payment options available. Looking at terms like ARM and PMI can become overwhelming. However, a little research can help you move forward.
Some buyers choose a 15- or 20-year loan because the term is shorter and you might be able to lock in a low rate. On the other hand, the reason 30-year loans are so popular has to do with the fact that a longer-term usually means a lower monthly payment. You might have a slightly higher interest rate, but the payments are usually more manageable.
You also need to determine how much home you can really afford. A good rule of thumb is to keep your mortgage, along with your taxes and insurance, between 25 and 30 percent of your income. Other experts advise that your home cost no more than two and a half times your annual salary.7?8?
If you spend too much on your mortgage you may not be able to meet your daily obligations let alone save for retirement. A smaller house might be worth the peace of mind. If you are carrying debt (credit card or student loan debt), a smaller home payment can be an especially good idea.
HAVE A DOWN PAYMENT READY
Your down repayment can reduce what you owe, also reducing your costs. Realize, though, that if you put down less than 20% of the cost of your home, you could end up paying private mortgage insurance (PMI).5? While you don't need 20% down to be successful in homeownership, it might be a good idea to consider the cost of PMI when you buy.
You may be considering creative financing to cover the down payment, but you should be careful when you make these choices. You want to build wealth with your home purchase. If you make the wrong choice than you may end up hurting yourself financially.
You don't have to make a 20% down payment to buy a home. Some loan programs (see item No. 5) enable you to buy a home with zero down or 3.5% down. Sometimes that's a good idea, but homeowners occasionally have regrets.
As a first-time home buyer, you probably don’t have a ton of money saved up for the down payment and closing costs. But don’t make the error of assuming that you have to delay homeownership while saving for a huge down payment. There are plenty of low-down-payment loan programs out there, including state programs that offer down payment assistance and competitive mortgage rates for first-time home buyers.
FIND A GOOD REAL ESTATE AGENT
Once you have determined how much you can really spend and are pre-approved for a mortgage, look for a good real estate agent. Your real estate agent should listen to your wants and needs carefully. They may make recommendations or explain the market to help you find a home that suits your needs and that you can afford.
Once you make an offer, your real estate agent should work to negotiate terms that you are happy with. They can also guide you through the paperwork and the process needed to successfully close. Once you find that perfect agent, he/she will be able to help you from there.