Guide for First Time Homebuyers
If you’re ready to buy your first home but you aren’t sure where to start, we’re here to help. Buying a home is an exciting process, but we know that it can also be very stressful, especially for first time buyers. Buying a home is probably the biggest purchase you’ll make in your lifetime, as well as the most rewarding. Preparation and research can help you set a solid foundation for successful home ownership. The more prepared you are, the less stressed you will be. We’re here to guide you through the process of buying your first home.
Plan your Costs
The first step you want to take is determining how much home you can afford. Our free Home Buying Calculators can help you get a good idea of how much you can afford to pay in monthly mortgage payments. Next, getting pre-qualified for a mortgage loan is one of the most important steps in the home buying process. Getting pre-qualified by your lender will help you determine how much you’re able to borrow. To get pre-approved, your lender will review your income sources, savings, debt, credit score and credit report. The better your credit, the more likely you are to be approved for a lower rate and better terms. Before seeking out a pre-approval, it’s a good idea to review your credit report yourself a few months in advance. This way you’ll have time to assess if you need to make improvements to your credit and work on those, and dispute any errors if there is incorrect information listed on your report.
Other costs to consider include home insurance and real estate personal property tax. Payments for these items will be included in your monthly payment, so it’s important to factor them into your monthly payment calculations so you can account for all costs. You’ll also need to factor in any associated costs for a real estate agent, if you choose to have one. An experienced, local real estate agent will assist you with your home search and with the buying process. A real estate agent will also act as a liaison between you, the seller, home inspectors, the title company, and more.
Shop for a Home
Take some time to think about what you need and want in a home. There are many decisions that go into finding the right house, so it’s good to have an idea of what you’re looking for before you start. Determine if you need single-family or condo? Existing home or new construction? Two, three or more bedrooms? How many bathrooms? And, of course, the big one: location. Make a list of the must-haves for every home you look at, and then write down things that would be an added bonus. You should also write down the things you do NOT want in a home, so that you can skip seeing those listings in advance. Having a solid idea of what you want in a home will make your search a lot easier.
Secure a Mortgage Loan
Choosing the right mortgage lender is one of the most crucial steps in the home buying journey. While a competitive interest rate is very important, you should keep in mind that a lender's reputation for service, their communication throughout the process, and assistance in resolving any issues is what makes the difference between smooth sailing and choppy waters. Working with a team you trust will put your mind at ease, so it’s important to choose a financial partner you can trust. At Robins Financial Credit Union, we are committed to serving our members through every step of the mortgage process. Our dedicated mortgage team will ensure you get the loan you need.
If you’re ready to buy your first home, we’re here to help you and walk you through every step of the home-buying process. Our Home Buying Calculators will help you get a picture of what your home loan will look like. Check out our Buying a Home video series on YouTube for more information about home buying. Apply for a mortgage loan online or set up an appointment to speak with one of our Mortgage Loan Officers.
At Robins Financial Credit Union, our mission is to enhance the financial well-being of our members and community. We honor this commitment by providing educational content to help you make the most of your finances. Read our other blog articles to help you gain the financial knowledge you need to succeed.