Buying your first home is an exciting milestone. There is nothing quite like standing in your empty house for the first time and dreaming about the memories you’ll make there. From the minute you sign the deed to the moment you get your keys, committing to a home can make you feel both excited and a bit nervous. Set yourself up for success by reviewing our tips for first-time homebuyers.
Tips for First-Time Homebuyers
Review Your Finances and Get Pre-Qualified for a Mortgage
Dreaming of owning a home? Begin by saving as much money as you can prior to your purchase. A good rule of thumb is to save enough for a 20-percent down payment. Another factor to consider is how much you can afford to pay each month. Play around with a mortgage calculator, and think about how long you want to be paying off your mortgage. Most lenders offer 15-, 20-, and 30-year payment plans. Finally, don’t forget about closing costs, property taxes, insurance, utilities, and all the other costs associated with buying a home.
Once you’ve reviewed your finances, it’s time to get pre-qualified* for a mortgage. It’s important to to do this at the beginning of the process because it will determine your price range and the type of loan you need, which will influence the type of property you can purchase. Luckily, it is incredibly easy to get pre-qualified for a mortgage with the right loan officer. Your loan officer will walk you through the simple, streamlined process. In most cases, you will be issued a prequalification in minutes!
Make a Dream List
Start writing down features that you most want in a new home, like a spacious backyard, a basement, tall ceilings, hardwood floors, a front porch, or an open floor plan. Discuss your ideas with your significant other, and decide which elements of your new abode are nonnegotiable. Remember that it’s unlikely you’ll find the perfect home in your budget, but you can always make renovations and upgrades. For example, an outdated kitchen is no problem if you’ve budgeted for a renovation.
Work with a Reputable Realtor
Although you can research homes yourself online, it’s important to hire a realtor to make sure your real estate purchase runs smoothly. Your realtor can save you time and money, especially during the negotiating process. Don’t forget to share that dream list you made with your realtor, so they can start looking for your ideal home.
Go House Hunting
Sometimes pictures don’t do a house justice. When you see the home in person, you might notice features that weren’t made clear in the online listing: gorgeous tiling in the bathroom, well-lit bedrooms, or even a friendly neighborhood. It also works the other way around – a house may look beautiful online, but exploring it in person, you may notice crucial flaws that were concealed by the flattering or flat-out deceptive photos.
Pay Attention to the Neighborhood
You should be able to create a small sanctuary from the busy demands of life in your home, but sometimes the wrong neighborhood can intrude on your peace. Consider visiting the neighborhood at different times on a typical week – a Friday night, for example, and a Sunday morning – to learn about the community’s personality. Are there loud college kids hosting parties? Any trains or ambulances frequently driving by? Are the neighbors friendly? Do you feel safe? These are all very important factors to consider.
Now that you’ve learned some tips for first-time homebuyers, are you ready to look for a loan? If you’re in the market for a new home near Springfield, Missouri, contact PrimeLending today. Our team of home loan experts focuses on making every step of the home-buying process simple, transparent, and rewarding. With our expertise and commitment to clear and timely communication, we can guide you through the mortgage process from application to closing. To get started, please call 417-616-0777 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!
*A prequalification is not an approval of credit and does not signify that underwriting requirements have been met.