First-Time Homebuyer ActA bill recently introduced to Congress, the First-Time Homebuyer Act, seeks to help first-time low- and middle-income earners on the road to one of the American dreams of
Three Key Steps For Every Home Buyer
Dated: March 23 2021
Three Key Steps for Every Home Buyer
Turning your dreams of owning a home into a reality doesn’t have to be a challenge. While buying a home can seem like a complicated process, focusing on a few key elements can ensure that things go smoothly. If you are planning on becoming a homeowner, whether it’s for the first or fifth time, here are some crucial steps you should take along the way.
Figure Out What You Can Afford First
Before you start shopping for your dream home, you need to make sure you can afford it. To determine how much you should spend on your new home, you should take a close look at your credit score, your current income, and your ratio of income to debt. These factors will determine the type of loans you are eligible for, as well as your loan interest rate, which will ultimately determine your monthly mortgage payment.
When shopping for a mortgage, you should research different banks and lending institutions to ensure you get the best rates. If your rate or mortgage payment estimates are too high, know your options. First, you can adjust your budget. A less expensive home will automatically reduce your payments. Another option is to lower your interest rate with your lender by paying points on your mortgage (also known as “buying down your rate”), which can be a great option for those planning to live in the same home for a number of years. Lastly, consider refinancing your loan at a later date to save on monthly payments.
First-time homebuyers have additional home loan avenues open to them, such as FHA loans. FHA loans can make homeownership more attainable for new homebuyers who have minimal credit history or who do not have enough for a down payment on a conventional home loan. If you don’t qualify for an FHA loan, then you may need to save a down payment before you can make your home purchase. CNBC notes reaching your savings goal can be easy with simple budget tweaks, like routine automated transfers.
Hire a Real Estate Agent in Your Area
With your financial plan for buying a new home in your hands, you can move onto the next step in the homebuying process. For most folks, and especially first-time homebuyers, taking that next step toward homeownership means finding a reliable real estate agent that has experience and knowledge of the local housing market.
The right agent can put that insight and experience to good work by helping you find available homes, assisting you with open houses and showings, and advising you during the negotiation process. Before you can take advantage of these perks, however, you need to decide which local agent will fit your needs the best.
Find a Home That Fits Most of Your Needs
When most people begin searching for a new home, they tend to focus their efforts on finding the home of their dreams. Honestly, searching for the perfect home can be a waste of time, and if you’re not careful, you could end up missing out on properties that could be upgraded to become your picture-perfect home.
Start by getting the lay of the land through a simple search. Check out different local listings to get a feel for prices, the market temperature and what’s available. As you search for a new home, try to focus on the features that are most important to you and features that cannot be changed later. For example, if you prefer a home with a large backyard or multiple bathrooms, buying a home that includes these elements can prevent buyer’s remorse in the future. For other home features, like wall colors, landscape design, or even the existence of walls, know that you can always make desired changes after you move into your new home.
Buying a home can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You just need to focus on getting your finances straight and hiring the right agent to save yourself a lot of time, effort, and stress. Soon those new house keys will be in your hands!
If you’re ready to start the search for your next home, Jenny Rutherford Real Estate would be happy to help. Please contact us today at 912-388-2828.
Photo Credit: Rawpixel
Tina Martin stays busy as a life coach and works hard to help herself and her clients achieve a healthy work-life balance. She started ideaspired.com as a side project to reach as many people as possible, and encourage them to put their dreams first.
Meet Jenny Rutherford Jenny Rutherford Real Estate, LLC. Where did you grow up? I grew up on a farm at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. I've lived in several states, including Virgi....
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