Home buying basics

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The prospect of purchasing your first home can be both exhilarating and slightly intimidating. Even when you feel prepared to make this significant investment, you may find yourself unsure of where to start. The following tips for first-time home buyers will assist you in navigating the entire process, from beginning to end.

  1. Save early: Start saving early for your home purchase, considering down payment, closing costs, and move-in expenses. Use a down payment calculator to set a savings goal and automate transfers from checking to savings.

  2. Determine affordability: Use NerdWallet's home affordability calculator to establish a price range based on income, debt, down payment, credit score, and location. Maintain good credit by paying bills on time, keeping credit card balances low, and avoiding new credit accounts.

  3. Explore mortgage options: Consider various mortgage types, such as conventional, FHA, USDA, and VA loans. Decide between a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage or a 15-year loan with lower interest rates and larger monthly payments.

  4. Research assistance programs: Check if your state, city, or county offers first-time home buyer programs that provide low-interest loans, down payment assistance, and closing cost assistance. Look for mortgage credit certificates and grants for low- to moderate-income buyers.

  5. Choose a real estate agent carefully: Seek referrals from recent home buyers, interview multiple agents, and ask about their experience with first-time buyers. Inquire about their strategies for finding off-market homes in competitive markets.

  6. Narrow down preferences: Consider the pros and cons of different home types based on your lifestyle and budget. Evaluate existing homes, new constructions, condominiums, townhomes, and manufactured homes. Factor in additional costs like homeowners association fees.

  7. Stick to your budget: Set a price range based on your budget and resist the temptation to overspend. Avoid pressure from lenders offering higher loan amounts or bidding wars. Consider homes below your limit in a competitive market and explore slightly higher-priced options in a buyer's market.

Remember, these tips will help you navigate the home-buying process from start to finish.


Source: Rocket City Now

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