Buying a piece of real estate is part of the American Dream. But, all too often the process of buying a home becomes confusing when would-be homebuyers are blindsided with unexpected intricacies that aren’t shown on an HGTV show. Because we want to see new buyers get the very best value for their money, here are our essential steps for preparing to buy your first home.
Know How Much You Can Afford
An obvious first step. But did you know that most first-time homebuyers get stuck at this stage in the process and never make it out? It is perhaps due to the fear of inquiry. Knowing how much you’re worth may lead you to feel self-conscious or depressed because you may not have enough to buy the home of your dreams. The fear of inquiry could also be tied to the fear of paperwork and not knowing whether banks have your best interest at heart. But, with that said, the fact of the matter is that unless you have mountains of cash on-hand getting pre-qualified for a home loan is absolutely essential. There’s nothing worse than finding your dream house, only to realize that you can’t afford it!
Take the guesswork and the fear out of taking that first step by working with a real estate agent who can work with you every step of the way. That way you’ll be able to contact a mortgage lender and get pre-qualified. When you and your agent have all the pertinent information, such as employment history, credit history and outstanding debts, the mortgage lender will then be able to tell you exactly how much they are prepared to loan you. This will get you well on your way to owning your first home.
First-Time Homebuyer Programs
When buying your first real estate property, you should be aware that there are many programs that are designed to help you as a first time buyer. Check with your real estate agent to see what state or federal programs you might qualify for. Some programs help with the down payment, while other programs reduce your interest rate, to help make it more affordable.
Once you have an understanding of the programs that you qualify for, the home search can begin! Factors such as location, deciding on a fixer-upper or a brand new property, home inspections, and more will occupy your thoughts as you get closer to buying your first home.
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