Are you ready to make the jump from renter to first-time homebuyer, but feel like you don’t even know how to get started? You’re not alone! There are many steps in the home buying process, and it’s one of the biggest purchases you’ll make. Naturally, many first-time buyers want to make sure they get it right.
You’ve come to the right spot to learn everything you need to know to start your homeownership journey off right. Our team are the experts on home financing options and what to expect throughout the entire home purchase process.
You’ll know what first steps you can take today to prepare to buy your first home. So, let’s get started!
Start Planning Early
The best advice you can follow to help make your first home purchase as seamless as possible is to start planning early. There’s no such thing as planning too far in advance to buy your home.
What exactly does planning for your first home entail? Saving is paramount! The best way to start setting some cash aside is to develop and stick to a budget. If you have an estimate of how much your mortgage payment might be, you can also start planning that into your monthly budget. That way, you’re well prepared for your real-life budget as a homeowner.
You will also need to know what’s on your credit report. Your loan officer will use your credit score to determine which mortgage programs you can qualify for and to recommend the best loan options for your financial situation.
When a lender reviews your credit report, they also check other debts you have outstanding. Loan programs have requirements for how much debt you can carry to qualify, measured by your debt-to-income ratio. This ensures that you can realistically make your monthly mortgage payment while factoring in other bills you have.
Check into First-Time Homebuyer Programs
Now that you’ve set a budget, started savings, and looked up your credit report, you’re probably already checking out neighborhoods and homes to narrow down your search.
As you start to run some preliminary numbers with a loan calculator or with the help of your loan officer, you might feel overwhelmed by what you may think you need for a down payment. Most of the time, buyers have been told they need to have saved 20% of the purchase price of their new home.
There are advantages to putting more money down on your home purchase, but there are also many situations where you don’t need to have that much saved up for your down payment.
Some first-time homebuyer programs allow you to put down as little as 3.5% of your loan amount. You should check into first-time buyer programs in your state or local area. Your loan officer is also a great resource to ask which programs would be best for you.
Find A Loan Officer Experienced in Helping First-Time Buyers
Just about every residential mortgage loan officer will have experience helping first-time buyers. But, it is still important to have a conversation with any potential lenders you’re talking to. Ask them about the resources they have available specifically for first-time buyers.
Working with a lender who understands the challenges first-time buyers face and has educational resources at the ready can make the process feel much more cohesive and ease your stress.
It also means that they will be able to offer the best loan programs for you and will have vital experience in getting deals closed with any special first-time buyer financing you might be utilizing.
Find The Right House
The other steps in the process might have seemed foreign as a first-time buyer, but this is certainly one where you won’t have any trouble – finding your perfect house. Every new homeowner has infinite ideas about what they want from their first home.
Maybe you want a big backyard or a spacious deck for enjoying a barbecue with family and friends. Keep that wish list ready, and enlist the help of a real estate agent who will help turn it into a reality.
In addition to helping you find the right house, your agent will also help you negotiate a fair price and provide valuable local market insight.
Having set a budget, saved up for your down payment, found the right loan program, and now the right house, you’ll be well on your way to celebrating the huge achievement of being a first-time homeowner. We have many more first-time homebuyer resources on our blog to answer all of the questions you’ll have along the way.
First Heritage Mortgage specializes in first-time homebuyer loan programs and has an experienced team of loan officers who will be thrilled to be your go-to resource. Get connected with an FHM loan officer today to start your new homeownership journey
The included content is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as professional advice. Additional terms and conditions apply. Not all applicants will qualify. Consult with a finance professional for tax advice or a mortgage professional to address your mortgage questions or concerns. This is an advertisement. Prepared 11/10/2022.