First Time Homebuyer TipsIf you are a first time homebuyer, the process of buying a house can seem overwhelming and even complicated, however just like anything important in life, you must take the necessary steps to get through it. Here are some important steps to follow before and you buy your first home.

Get your credit in order

Having a mortgage is potentially the biggest financial obligation you will take on. First, you definitely want to make sure you have good credit. That means the higher the credit score the easier it is to obtain financing. Make sure there are no late payments, no collections or unsatisfied judgments. You can usually get a copy of your annual credit report for free. Look over your credit report to make sure all the information is accurate.

Load up your piggy bank

When buying a house, you will need enough money for a down payment, closing costs, and appraisal fees. Rule of thumb is 3.5 % down payment for an FHA government loan and 5% down payment for conventional loans on the sales price of the home. You should also speak with your loan officer to determine what payment you would be comfortable making each month for a mortgage payment. Once you have your down payment and monthly payment figured out, you will know the price range of homes to look for in your area that meet your budget.

Find qualified housing professionals

The next step in the process is finding a real estate agent and mortgage company who both come highly recommended. Ask your co-workers, neighbors, friends, and family who they would recommend. After getting a list of names of real estate agents and mortgage brokers, give them a call to see who has the best rates and prices and who you feel most comfortable working with. Having a good team on your side will likely make this process move more smoothly.

Learn all about the home buying process

Knowledge is power so do some research. Each state has different rules and processes to getting a mortgage. Having a general idea or understanding of how it all works will also help you with the home buying process. There’s tons of information online or you can talk to your loan officer and realtor to get more details about the process.

Understand the Costs

Another thing to be aware of is what you will need to purchase prior to closing on your home. Working with a great mortgage broker, you may be able to buy a home with no lender fees however in most cases there will be some costs.  Most lenders require you to pay a full year of homeowner’s insurance upfront and if you live in an area prone to hurricanes, tornados, or flooding, then you will need to have that as well, which is an added expense to your homeowner’s insurance. Other costs you may have to pay include title company fees, appraisal fees and government fees.  Closing costs can also get pretty pricey so be sure to inquire about getting an estimate of what those might be and ask if here are way to have the seller help to pay these costs for you.

Once you feel you have these few steps in order, you’ll be ahead of the game and ready to start shopping for your new home with confidence and ease of mind.

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