As a first time home buyer getting ready to start the house-hunting process, it’s important that you do as much research about the process as possible. Since buying your first home is likely one of the biggest financial transactions you’ll ever make, it’s critical that you know what to look out for.
While no first-time homebuyer is expected to avoid making mistakes, it’s helpful to learn everything to can to reduce the number of errors that you make.
Buying your first home involves many different aspects which you will find may be overwhelming at times. Therefore, to help you navigate the process, here are the basics of what you need to buy your first home.
Get Pre-Approved for A Loan
Before you start shopping around for homes, you should have a pre-approval letter in your hand from the bank. Some sellers won’t be willing to accept an offer from a buyer who hasn’t been pre-approved for a mortgage.
Pre-approval, different from being pre-qualified, means that you are eligible for the amount stated and all of your income has been verified. Don’t forget to get approved for the right type of loan. Some loans have, like a 30-year mortgage have different approval odds than a 15-year mortgage.
Improve Your Credit Score If Need Be First
Before you go to the nearest bank with your documents for pre-approval, it’s essential to make sure that your credit score is as good as it can be. The higher your score is, the more desirable you’ll to be to lenders.
If you’re not sure how to improve your credit score, you may want to work with a professional credit repair service. They’ll be able to teach you strategies that can make big changes in your overall rating.
Get a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a critical part of making sure you navigate the process correctly. While you may know of someone who has done a home buying transaction without an agent, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best choice.
It’s a good idea to choose an agent who is known for working well with first-time buyers and who comes recommended. You will likely have a considerable amount of questions, so make sure that you choose someone who will be patient with your needs.
Only Look at Houses In Your Budget
It may be tempting to look at homes that aren’t necessarily in your budget. However, you’re risking being tempted to exceeding your budget and wasting your agent’s precious time.
One of the benefits of being a first-time buyer is that you can learn from other people’s mistakes who came before you. By contemplating each move slowly and carefully, hopefully, you can avoid making poor purchasing decisions.
Focus on the basics and when in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask your agent for their professional guidance.