Tips for Buying Your First Home

Buying a home takes time so it’s important to be prepared. Don’t worry, your lender and agent will help you along the way.

If financing a home it can take 2 months or more. There are many stages or steps involved. Finding a lender, then going shopping, making the offer, setting up inspections, getting insurance, working with a title company, and the final step Closing the deal. If you are looking to buy a home in the next 6 months to a year and you are going to be financing the time to start preparing is now. Again, don’t worry your lender and agent are going to help you.

Finding a Lender

The first step to starting the process of home buying is to contact a lender to determine how much money you will have to spend or how much you can afford. There is no point shopping for a home if you cannot buy one. It wouldn’t be wise to look at homes over $300,000 if your lender will only loan you $175,000. It would be very disappointing to find the home of your dreams and then find out you cannot get it. So start with finding out what you will be able to finance and then you can go shopping for homes in that price range.

Not all lenders are the same. Find one that is going to be helpful and informative to you. Your lender should provide you with information on what you are eligible for and if you are not eligible he should be able to tell you what you need to do to become eligible.

If you need help with locating a good lender you can also ask your real estate agent if they have a few preferred lenders they can recommend.

How much down payment do you need?

Not all mortgages require a lot of money down. Be sure to ask your lender what your options are. If you are a first time buyer be sure to let them know.

Some lenders offer special loans for first time home buyers and some do not. The state of Florida offers many down payment assistance resources. You will want to see what is available to you in your state. hus

If you are eligible for a VA loan you will not need any money down. That’s right No Money down.

Poor Credit Score

You can qualify for a mortgage with a credit score as low as 580 so don’t let your credit score deter you. If your credit score is below the criteria needed for the mortgage that is right for you then your lender can sometimes view the report and determine if there are things on the report that they can have removed to increase your score or give you tips on what you can do to improve it. This can take time so if you want to purchase a home you need to give yourself time to work through these steps. You will need patience and perseverance but a home is worth it.

Getting a Real Estate Agent

There are two types of real estate agents. A listing agent– one who specializes in listing homes for sale and A buyers agent- one who helps buyers in the process of purchasing a home. It’s important to note that both listing agents and buyers agents get paid by the Seller.

Your agent can and or should be able to assist you throughout the entire process. They can help you with finding a lender, shopping for the home, writing and submitting the offer to purchase contract, scheduling and providing you with necessary information on what inspections are needed or that you may want, working with the title company so that you obtain a title that is free and clear of liens, working with the lender so the lender has the information they need etc. They do a lot of work for you and it’s important that you are loyal to them. Work with one agent. Whenever you have a question call your agent.

Choosing an Agent

A good agent will be willing to answer your questions and aid you in the process where needed. You should be able to reach them at any time. If your agent doesn’t answer your calls or emails consistently and doesn’t follow up in a reasonable amount of time ( within and hour or two) you should probably choose another agent. Your agent should always be willing and able to help. If your agent doesn’t know the answer to your question they should be able to find out for you or steer you in the right direction.

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