Holding the keys to your first home comes with a sense of pride in knowing that home is yours. Making the transition from renter to homeowner is an exciting one, but the process takes time and can be complex. Use our home buying guide to walk you through the process of finding the right home.
1. Know your credit score
Chances are as a first-time home buyer you’ll finance a portion of your home purchase. Mortgage lenders heavily weigh your FICO credit score and history. Pull your report early so you know your numbers, have time to improve your score, and can dispute any facets of your credit history.
2. Save money for closing and moving
Among first-time home buying tips, you’ll hear that you need to save for a down payment. You’ll also need to save for closing costs, which can run 3-5 percent of a home’s purchase.
3. Find mortgage lenders
Before you look at homes, speak with mortgage lenders. The interest rates across institutions may be nearly the same, but different lenders can offer different programs and terms that could save you thousands in the long-term. As part of the home buying process, Centex recommends you shop around, learn what you qualify for, and speak to lenders.
Need a place to start? Check out our blog that outlines some of the resources and programs designed for first time homebuyers.
4. Create a housing budget
The last thing new homeowners want to feel is stressed about making their home mortgage payment. Buy for your home of today, never the home of tomorrow.
Find what you can afford now, usually no more than 33 percent of your monthly income. Create a budget for how much home you can afford and stick to it. While it may be difficult to find a new home that fits your budget, and your dreams, it is doable.
5. Find a real estate agent
Real estate professionals are your resource during the home buying process. They can help you find existing homes or work with new construction builders to find a home that’s a match for your needs.
Need breakdown on different types of real estate agents? Check out our blog on difference between Listing Agents vs. Selling Agents.
6. Take your time
Never feel pressured to buy a home. This purchase is a big decision, likely one of the largest you’ll make. You want to feel comfortable about the home you’re buying into. Even if your market is competitive, it’s better to wait for the right opportunity than to buy because it’s there.
First-time home buyers benefit from doing research, talking to lots of vendors, and asking questions. If you can’t find what you want, look at new home builders like Centex. While it may seem hard to believe, new construction isn’t always out of range for first-time homebuyers, and there are plenty of places to find an affordable new home near you.
Author: Casey McKenna-Monroe
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