Buying your first house is one of the biggest financial steps that you’ll ever take, and it can be a little bit intimidating for some. If you are interested in buying your first home, there are several issues that you could run into along the way. Having a firm understanding of what to expect is critical. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when buying your first house.
Get Pre-Qualified or Pre-Approved
Before you ever get out into the market and start looking at actual houses, you need to talk to a mortgage lender first. You need to get either pre-qualified or pre-approved before doing any shopping. By getting pre-qualified, you can figure out approximately how much you can afford to pay for a house based on your salary and credit information. When you get pre-approved, the lender actually tells you that you are ready to get a mortgage whenever you need one. They verify all of the information in your credit profile and with your income. This process is a little bit more involved than getting pre-qualified.
Work with a Buyer’s Agent
Getting a good buyer’s agent can make your life a lot easier when you are shopping for a home. With a buyer’s agent, you will be able to zero in on the house that you want and can afford. A buyer’s agent will sit down with you and find out exactly what kind of house that you want. He may ask you for some specific features in houses that you are looking for. Then he can show you some houses that meet your criteria, and help you to see what is available in your area.
Get Less Than You Can Afford
When choosing a house to buy, you will probably be tempted to spend a little bit more than what you can realistically afford. Just because you could qualify for a certain amount of mortgage, that doesn’t mean that you need to pay that much. Only you know what you can comfortably afford. As a general rule, you should try to get a house that you can easily afford. Leave a little bit left over every month, because there will be unexpected expenses that you did not plan on. You might have a child unexpectedly after you buy your house. You could run into problems with the property that makes you come up with money that you don’t have. In these types of situations, it can come in handy to have a little bit of extra money from one month to the next.
Take Advantage of Your Status
Since you are a first-time home buyer, you should take full advantage of it. There are a number of programs out there that are designed to help first time home buyers get into the market. When you are talking to a mortgage lender, ask if they offer any type of first time home buyers loans. In some cases, they may be able to offer a lower down payment or a lower interest rate because of your status as a buyer.
There are also some programs out there that will give you a down payment for your home. With these programs, you can get money to use for the down payment on your house without having to worry about paying it back at any point in the future.
Leslie is a real estate agent that works on first time home buying options. Helping people find their dream home is her passion.