If you’re thinking about buying your first home, congratulations! This is a massive milestone in your life and comes with excitement – and maybe some nerves. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here are three tips for first-time homebuyers:
Consider the Number of Homes on the Market
Flexibility is crucial in today’s seller’s market. Competition is high. However, don’t be discouraged. Work with your real estate advisor to increase your pool of potential properties. First, sit down and make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves. This will help you focus your search on homes that meet your needs and wants. Find ways to expand your search. This could include considering condos and townhomes.
According to Bankrate:
“Townhomes often cost less than single-family homes of a similar size in the same location.”
They also stated that:
“Buying a condo can be a great way to dive into homeownership without worrying about the upkeep that comes with single-family homes and townhouses.”
Understand Your Down Payment
Saving for a down payment is one of first-time homebuyers’ most significant obstacles. You may have heard that you need 20% down to buy a home. However, today, the median down payment for all homebuyers is only 13%. While there are advantages to putting 20% down, especially in today’s competitive market, know that you have options. Assistance programs are also available, where some loan options require as little as 3.5% (or even 0%) down for buyers who qualify.
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Pre-approval means that you have already gone through the underwriting process with a lender and have been given a loan commitment. Pre-approval gives you a clear idea of how much home you can afford and puts you in a better position when negotiating with sellers. Once pre-approved, your real estate advisor will know what price range to focus on when searching for homes. Keep in mind that being pre-approved is not the same as being pre-qualified.
Pre-qualification is based on the information you provide to the lender, such as your income, debts, and assets. The lender then gives you an estimate of how much they would be willing to lend you. However, this is not a guarantee that you will get approved for the loan.
By getting pre-approved for a mortgage, you’ll know exactly how much home you can afford and confidently move forward in your homebuying journey.
Finally, no matter where you’re at in your homeownership journey, the best way to make sure you’re set up for success is to work with a real estate professional. As a Licensed Real Estate Professional for over 30 years, I have worked with Sellers and Buyers alike to realize their dreams. Let me help you with your dream! Contact me today!