You’ve been dreaming about your next step in life for years and it’s finally here. You’re ready to find your dream home. It’s going to have the perfect views, a great neighborhood, and all the amenities you could ever want.
But what’s the first step? For the first-time homebuyer, the process can seem intimidating and overwhelming. You want to make the best decisions when it comes to buying your first home, but where do you begin?
We’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look into the stages for a first-time homebuyer and simplify the process.
Choose the right time
We know you can’t wait to buy your first home, but the timing can make all the difference. In addition to a down payment and closing costs, you need to be able to afford whatever repairs, upgrades, and maintenance your house might need. Examine your current circumstances and figure out if you’re ready to commit to buying vs renting.
You should also look at your budget and decide if you can afford the kind of house you want. A good rule of thumb is to budget no more than 30% of your income on your mortgage payment.
Another good preparation step is to check your credit score. If it’s not as good as you would like it to be, spend some time working on raising it by paying your credit off on time.
Choose the right lender
You might be eager to start house hunting, but finding a lender and getting pre-qualified for a loan is important to do first. If you go and find your dream home tomorrow you may not even be able to afford it, which can cause both headaches and heartaches.
Being pre-qualified can make the process go quicker after you find a house that you want to make an offer on. You don’t want someone else to snag it while you are working on paperwork.
How to find a lender
Not all lenders are the same, and it’s important to find a knowledgeable lender that you are comfortable working with. Here’s a couple of ways to find the right lender:
- Talk to your current bank. You already trust them enough to take care of your money, so that’s the perfect place to start. Contact your bank to make an appointment to talk about starting the loan process.
- Go through a mortgage broker. A mortgage broker is a professional who helps you find and negotiate a mortgage. You’ll have to pay them a commission, but it can be well worth it if you want the extra guidance.
- Talk to your REALTOR™. Your REALTOR™ is on your team and wants the process to go as smoothly as possible, so they might have suggestions of good lenders.
After you pick a lender, you’ll meet with them and apply for a loan. When you are pre-qualified for a loan, you’ll know how much you can afford.
Choose the right REALTOR™
Picking the right REALTOR™ is an important part of buying your house. You need to be sure that your REALTOR™ has the experience, expertise, and training necessary to guide you through the process. A good REALTOR™ should have access to extensive listings and high-quality education and training.
Your REALTOR™ will help you figure out what your housing priorities are and what kind of house will fit your lifestyle.
Choose the right house
It’s time for the best part – finding your dream home! Now that you have a lender, realtor, and know your budget, your hard work has paid off and you’re ready to go out and start looking at homes.
Working with a REALTOR™ is the best way to find and buy a house for the first time. At Steinborn & Associates, our knowledgeable brokers can help you navigate the home buying process to make it as smooth and quick as possible.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how Steinborn can help you make your home-owning dreams a reality, contact us today.