Tips for First-Time Home Buyers, Part 1

Pen, Specs and keys with a business objects.

There’s a first time for everything! When a baby takes their first steps-talk about a milestone! The first time you get behind the wheel of a car and drive down the street-huge life moment! First kiss, first time falling in love, first time traveling out of the country – we could go on and on with a list of significant milestones. But what about the first time a person buys a home of their very own? 

There are few decisions in life as meaningful as this, and, like any significant moment in life, it needs to be celebrated! But when it comes to buying a home, the moment for celebration must come AFTER the hard work is done. As with any big project, a successful home buying experience is all about getting the details gathered right from the beginning until the moment the movers bring in your furniture.  

Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind if you are buying a home for the first time. (Hint: Because there’s SO much to know, stay tuned for our next blog for even more things to know for first-time home buyers.)

Understand the Costs
NerdWallet details the main costs to consider when saving for a home so that you can know what you can afford and not go over budget. First, there’s your down payment. Your down payment requirement will depend on the type of mortgage you choose and the lender you select. Some conventional loans for first-time buyers allow as little as 3% down (but only if you have excellent credit). But that 3% still could mean high costs (that’s $9,000 on a $300,000 home, for example). On top of the down payment, closing costs typically range from 2 to 5% of your total loan amount. And don’t forget move-in expenses; it’s wise to set money aside for immediate home repairs and furnishings. 

Watch Your Credit Score
Your credit score determines whether or not you can qualify for a home mortgage. Not only that, but it will impact the interest rate a potential lender will offer you. The better your credit score, the lower the interest rate, and that’s good news for you! Strengthen your credit score by paying your bills on time, keeping credit card balances low, and keeping credit cards open.

Get a Preapproval Letter
This step is crucial in today’s competitive real estate market, where the inventory is low and sellers are going with the most competitive offer possible. A preapproval letter from a lender is their offer to loan you a certain amount of money under specific terms. This letter will show sellers and real estate agents that you are a serious buyer. 

Knowing how to navigate an intimidating and competitive real estate market like our current one takes an expert hand, especially if you are a first-time home buyer! Fortunately, Starved Rock Realty can help you navigate the process and get you in the home of your dreams. 

Starved Rock Realty prides itself on providing exemplary customer service and impeccable knowledge, our local area, and the current conditions of the market. We take every measure to ensure you are satisfied with all your real estate needs and will do whatever it takes to be worthy of your business. To learn how Starved Rock Realty can help you buy or sell a home, visit our website or call us today at 815-667-9990. Follow us on Facebook for the latest tips on navigating the world of real estate.