Buying a house for the first time? The process for a first-time home buyer can seem complicated and a little stressful. We have listed a few helpful tips for when you are ready to purchase your first home.
If you are not doing it now, start saving your money. Purchasing a home requires a down payment. Most loans require a down payment of 20%; however, there are many other loans available that offer low and no down payment options for people who qualify. For example, a FHA loan require a 3.5% down payment and a VA Loan offers active and retired military members favorable loan terms with 0% down. Be sure to talk with your lender about the various loan options available so, you will know how much of a down payment you’ll need to make. Keep in mind you will need funds for closing costs and don’t forget about the cost for any maintenance and/or emergencies that may occur once you are a homeowner.
Check on your credit score and learn how to manage it. Your lender is going to check your FICO® credit score, which is very important. Credit score is a number ranging from 300 to 850 that sums up your credit history. Your credit history is information that includes: Length of credit history, your payment history, any outstanding balances, types of credit used and the number of credit inquires.
The credit score shows the lender your credit worthiness and the risk of lending to you. This can also affect your interest rate and loan type. Keep in mind the higher your credit score, the better. To check your credit score there are plenty of free services available… Such as Credit Karma, Experian and etc…
If you need to build up your credit score, ask your lender or a financial professional for advice. Or again, Credit Karma and Experian offer assistance with restoring your credit score.
What can you afford? What is your current monthly budget? If you are renter, how much do you currently spend on rent each month? This can assist you with deciding on a housing budget. Are you able to commit to this amount? The lender will give you a loan estimate that will show your estimated monthly payment. Be sure that you will be comfortable with this amount of money every month. Don’t forget to include the other expenses involved in owning a home such as… water, electric, cable, etc.
Don’t allow yourself to max out your budget just because the lender informs you that you qualify for a certain amount. If you qualify for a $500,000, be extra certain that you are able to consistently make the monthly payments.
Don’t forget about Closing Costs. Whether your loan may be a low or no down payment option, buying a home may still involve some cash up front. This is the closing cost. Closing costs range between 2 to 6% of your purchase price. It includes the title, recording fees, prepaids, escrow, loan related fees, mortgage insurance, and third-party fees. When making an offer on a house you and your agent can negotiate with the seller to cover some of your closing costs. This also depends on the type of loan you get.
Additionally, you may have to pay for the home inspection and appraisal fees before closing. Ask your your agent and lender about what you will and will not be reimbursed for at closing.
Following our tips will have you better prepared to help make your first house purchase more exciting and less stressful. When you are ready to make a purchase contact us at 951-837-7394.