Buying a home for the first time can be overwhelming. The home buying process is complex, and it’s easy to make mistakes. Need some help? We’ve got first-time buyer tips to assist you as you navigate this unfamiliar territory.
- Know how to save for a home. When you’re preparing to buy your home, save enough money for a down payment, closing costs, and move-in expenses. One of the biggest first time home buyer mistakes is not putting enough money down, so save as much as you can, even if your mortgage lender doesn’t require it. Closing costs will be 2-5% of your purchase price, but you can ask the seller to pay part of that.
- Determine how much home you can afford. This may not be the same amount that a lender is willing to loan you. You’ll want to get preapproved by a mortgage lender before you place an offer on a home, but only borrow as much as you’re able to comfortably afford. When determining your budget, consider factors like taxes, HOA fees, and home insurance.
- Explore the real estate market. Consider what type of home you need and which specific features you’d like to find. Browsing real estate websites will give you an idea of housing prices and the availability of properties in the area where you’d like to live.
- Build up your credit. Check your credit score before you apply for a mortgage. Take steps to strengthen your credit, like paying down debt to lower your debt to income ratio.
- Know your mortgage options and selection. There is a wide range of mortgages available, and they all have different payment and eligibility requirements.
- Conventional mortgages: not backed by the government, sometimes require as little as 3% down for first time buyers.
- FHA loans: down payments as low as 3.5%, insured by the Federal Housing Administration.
- USDA loans: for rural home buyers, no down payment, guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- VA loans: for active duty military and veterans, no down payment, guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Take advantage of first-time buyer programs. There are many programs designed to incentivize first time buyers. You may be able to get a low-interest-rate mortgage, help with your down payment and closing costs, and tax credits.
- Hire the right agent. A good real estate agent can be a true partner in the home buying process, helping you locate and view homes, negotiating with the seller, and protecting you from pitfalls.
Now that you’re armed with home shopping tips, call Vutech & Ruff to find the right agent to guide you through the home buying process. We provide outstanding service, assisting with just about every aspect of real estate while maintaining the highest level of professionalism. Our award-winning agents have years of experience, and our featured properties are located in some of the best neighborhoods in the Columbus, Ohio area. Call 614-706-0122 or contact us so we can get to work for you!