5 Vital Tips for First-Time Home Buyers
Buying your first home is equivalent to embarking on a grand adventure. Although extremely thrilling, learning the ins and outs of the process can often seem overwhelming. From determining a budget to obtaining a loan, there are numerous factors to take into consideration along the way. Keep these five tips in mind throughout the journey.
Check your credit score
Your credit score impacts various aspects of your life, especially when it comes to buying a house. It’s a determining factor in being approved for a loan with a low interest rate. Credit Karma offers free credit reports with monitoring, which can help you catch what may be negatively affecting your score. Mortgage brokers, credit card companies, and banks can also sometimes explain your score in greater detail. Check with them to see if they offer this service.
Be realistic about what you can afford
When setting a budget, it’s important to be realistic. To keep your head out of the clouds, consider making a master list of the necessities (such as the number of bedrooms and square footage) and a separate list of the extras (such as hardwood floors and a modern kitchen) that you’re willing to compromise on. Many first-time buyers update their house piece by piece, creating the ultimate dream home!
Gather all necessary documents
To get prequalified for a loan, lenders typically require various documents. It’s advantageous to collect pay stubs, bank statements, and W-2s from the past two years. Ensuring your paperwork is organized will eliminate having to scramble every time a lender requests additional information.
Get preapproved for your loan
Once your credit score is deemed acceptable and the required documents are submitted, you’ll be able to begin the preapproval stage. Being preapproved allows you to submit an offer with confidence, and puts you on equal footing with competing bids.
Find a supportive real estate agent
Barbara has had the privilege to help buyers purchase their first home; Investors make millions in proceeds; Developers acquire on and off market development opportunities and sellers get top dollar for their home. Her mentor is real estate attorney aka president of the San Diego of Association of Realtors, Kevin Burke.
Her passion is real estate because she believes in it. As a little girl she always knew she would grow up to have a family of her own, always realizing the importance of having a place to call home. She says, “real estate creates homes where families raise their children and create lifelong memories. In addition to real estate ownership, it creates fantastic financial opportunities; can help with retirement, or college tuitions to give you a couple of examples.”
As with every adventure, the destination is the most rewarding part. Take the time to enjoy it—you only get to be a first-time home buyer once.