Are you a first time home buyer? Do you have a game plan? Do you know how much you can pay for a home? Are you confused yet??
I remember when I was a first time home buyer… Interest rates were around 7%… I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing….No one really took the time to help me…contracts were not something I wanted to read…and all I could think of is “What a “scary” and overwhelming process!”
If you are a first time home buyer, here are some hints and facts you may want to remember…
Buying your first home can be daunting. You envision a certain type of home you think you need, (should have, want to have) and then reality sets in. You realize you cannot buy the Taj Mahal for $150,000…have looked at dozens of homes…cannot remember one from the next and you need to make a decision soon.
Well, here are a few first time home buyer tips, which should help make your experience of purchasing your first home an exciting one instead of an unnerving one.
Prequalify for a mortgage. You want to know what you can afford, and you don’t want your Real Estate Agent showing you homes out of your price range. Usually, the following terms must be met to quality for a mortgage:
1. Have enough for a down payment of 5-20% of the purchase price
2. Two years of steady income from the same employer or same field of employment
3. A good credit record of 680 plus
4. A monthly income of 2 to 3 times higher than the mortgage payment amount.
A great place to get an idea of how much you can spend on a home is to go to a prequalifying website to calculate some figures for you. One good site is Calculators 4 Mortgages. It will tell you the loan amount you can handle and the monthly payments.
If you are having a hard time finding a bank to give you a mortgage, you may try a Mortgage Broker. They will go to outlets for mortgages until they find one for you. There maybe a fee involved but sometimes it is necessary to utilize this service.
After you have pre-qualified for a mortgage, contact your Realtor and give him/her a list of what you are looking for in a home and the locations you desire. Be specific and clear on your likes and dislikes so your Realtor will not waste your time (or theirs) bringing you to houses you are not interested in. For example, if you want a one story home with three bedrooms and two baths, make sure your Realtor knows this. If you desire a certain subdivision, that should be noted to your Realtor also.
Upon viewing a home, here are some first time home buyer suggestions that may help to lessen the confusion:
- Bring a camera to either take still or videos of each residence you view for later reference
- Record or note brief descriptions of each home
- Note the location of the dwelling and if it is in the location you fancy
- Avoid getting caught up on how the home is decorated. Rather, look at the room sizes, the floors, construction and location. In other words, the “bones”.
- Remember, paint is an easy way to make ugly pretty.
If the market has an enormous amount of homes to view, try narrowing your search by the most desired subdivisions and features that are the on the “must have” list.
One thing that will keep the excursion of house hunting a positive, fun time is when looking at a home don’t get upset if you do not like the house you are viewing. Instead, be glad you that now you realize what you do and do not want in a home! Regard each home viewing as a learning experience.