The First Three Steps For The First-Time Home Buyer

There is a first time for everything. When it comes to buying a home, this first time can be very overwhelming. This is especially true if you are unfamiliar with real estate and how home buying works. In the following steps, you can see what you need to do to get started in your home buying adventure as a first-timer.

1) Save now

Many first-time home buyers are unaware of the real cost of purchasing a home. Most know about the daunting down payment, but what about the closing costs, mortgage insurance, realtor fees, and other expenses? You may have thought that the monthly payment would only be $900, but in reality it is $1100 with all the utilities and other demands heaped on top of it. Start saving now so that you can be ready later. In fact, the more you save for a down payment, the less you will pay in monthly mortgage. Also, if you put at least 20% down, you typically don't need to pay mortgage insurance, either. It's smart to save and save early.

2) Get Pre-approved

You can either go through your local bank or credit union or find a mortgage company to get pre-approved. Be ready to pay a fee in order to get your credit checked and everything set in order. Good credit is always better, so along with saving before, be sure you're smart with your credit cards. Also, be aware of any debt, such as student loans and car payments because they will look at your debt-to-income ratio when obtaining the amount you qualify for. Be aware that much of the time you will qualify for more than you really can comfortably afford. Aim lower to be safe. Also, understand that this approval only lasts three months. 

3) Contact Your Real Estate Agent and Start Looking At Homes

Remember, most realtors require an official letter of approval from the mortgage company or bank before moving forward. Otherwise, they might just be wasting their time on people that like to look at homes for the fun of it. Once contacted, let the realtor know exactly what you are looking for in a home. Then it's all downhill from here, although it does take time. Once you look around and find the home you like in your price range, make an offer. If chosen, you can obtain your loan, use your down payment, finish up closing costs and other fees, then get packin'! It's time to move into a home of your own.

For more information, visit a real estate agent in your area, such as Realty Executives.