First-time home buyers often find the process to be exhausting and time-consuming, and why wouldn’t it be? No one wants to move into a house they “sort of” like or a home that doesn’t quite satisfy all their needs. You have to give it all your attention – despite interference from your work or personal life. But before you even start searching, there are a few easy steps that could cut your “search” time down by half and reduce the pain-staking process of buying a home.
1. Know Before You Buy
Looking for a small cottage-style house in Springhurst doesn’t mean you know what you want. Real estate is all about details, and so should your home search. Really sit down and think about what you want. Do you want a 2 bedroom house or a 3 bedroom house? Do you want dual vanity sinks in the bathroom so your stuff won’t be cluttered with your spouse’s? Are you looking for a home near a good school? These are examples of what details you should know before searching for a home.
It’s also important to think about the future – specifically, 5 years ahead. Your home will stay the same over the years, but your lifestyle may not. Things like starting a family or job relocation are stuff that could change your need in a house. If you’re planning on having a baby, maybe that extra bedroom would come in handy. So, knowing what you want could save you a lot of time and trouble before you even begin.
And lastly, it’s important to know what you can afford before buying a home. That 4 bedroom mansion in the center of downtown Louisville might be perfect, but can you afford the mortgage payments? Calculate how much money you have saved up and how much you’ll be earning in the upcoming years, and then you can decide on which home to search for.
2. Save Cash for a Down Payment
Typically, in today’s real estate market, home buyers place up to 20% as a down payment on the property they want. And that could mean a significant amount of change for you. That’s why it’s important to start saving now. Stash what money you can and put it into a high-yield savings account. Let it build so you can show lenders that you have the money to finance buying a home. Some lenders may even want to see you have a couple months worth of mortgage payments “on hand.”
3. Get Mortgage Pre-Approval
Mortgage is one of those words you’ll often hear in the real estate world, but not quite understand. To break it down, it’s a loan from a bank that helps pay for your house. Every month, you’ll repay the bank, or “lender,” in what’s called mortgage payments. There are numerous varieties of mortgages to choose from, and usually it comes down to taste. But more importantly to the home buying process, you need to get approved for the mortgage loan. Or else you won’t be able to buy that home you so desperately want.
Typically, banks look at your credit rating and history, your incoming salary, and whether or not you have enough money for a down payment. Going to the bank and getting pre-approved for the home you want to buy could save you a lot of headaches down the road. The last thing you want is to make an offer on a home, go through the closing contract, and then find out you’re not qualified to buy the home.
With these 3 first steps, you’ll be set to start searching for your first home. You’ll know what you want, you’ll have the cash ready, and you’ll avoid any hiccups in the closing phase. The only last tip we have to offer is: utilize your real estate agent. If you communicate your vision to him or her, they’ll know what to show you. You won’t have to teeter-tatter around town, waste your whole day, and hopefully find a home you like. Everything will be preset and pre-done. All you have to do is show up and say, “I want this home.” [Find a real estate agent]