First-time homebuyer? Here’s what you need to know

Anxiety around buying a house is common among those who have always rented. An August 2017 survey by loanDepot, found that though 52 % of renting millennials are driven to buy a home, half are anxious about the costs, and only 18% think it’s something they can financially pull off.
Below is a list of what you can expect in this complicated process of buying your first home, and how to manage it.

MAKE A LIST OF 10 THINGS YOU WANT

In the very beginning, make a list of the 10 main things you’re looking for in a home and make sure to rank them. The list could include price, location, size, renovation, views, etc. Knowing ahead of time that you are really looking to check as many of those boxes as possible but that some will need to be adjusted is important. And along the way you may very well come up with new things to add (and hopefully some to take off).

GET COZY WITH YOUR CREDIT SCORE

Know your credit score and make sure that there are no surprises/errors. Many people now subscribe to consumer credit reporting agencies and are given monthly updates on the status of their credit score. That is a great way to keep an eye on things.

TALK WITH A MORTGAGE BROKER OR LOAN OFFICER

Next, learn whether you pre-qualify for a mortgage by consulting a mortgage broker or loan officer.

The difference between the two: a loan officer works for the lending institution; a mortgage broker works as an independent agent for both you and the bank. The latter facilitates the loan process to choose the right lender and guide you through the whole process — and you give commission if the loan closes. A loan officer typically works on commission or salary provided by their institution.

HAVE PERSONAL FINANCIAL PAPERWORK READY

Once pre-approved for a mortgage, you’ll need to have a lot of information ready to proceed with buying.

A loan officer will ask you for as pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, and other information that documents your financial status to complete your loan application. They’ll need all this information to underwrite your mortgage — basically, to make sure you’ll be able to pay back your loan.

GET A REALTOR — AND DISCUSS YOUR EXPECTATIONS OF THEM

The next step, find a real estate agent who knows the local market. Based on your pre-qualified purchase price, the agent will work with you to help you find homes that fit your budget and your needs.

OTHER HELPFUL TIPS

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Check with multiple lenders before accepting an interest rate.
  • Avoid making major purchased on credit and avoid moving cash around during the process.
  • Drive by the house during multiple times of the day to get a true feel for the neighborhood, morning, noon and night.
  • Ask if the seller has any inspections or disclosures you should be aware of up front. If there are serious issues with the property, knowing that beforehand can save you a lot of time and potential emotions.

Our last tip is: HAVE FUN, this is a beautiful milestone and you’ll want to remember it in a positive light!

Are you ready to stop wasting money on rent and purchase a home? Contact our Relocation Director, Catharine Pappas at (704) 661-2402 to get connected with an experienced agent.