Are you an overwhelmed first time home buyer?
We get it! Owning a home is still the American dream, but where do you start? Everyone has somewhat of a different starting place because purchasing a home has so much to deal with your personal finances. We have a four-step process that can help you navigate home buying, no matter the stage you are entering. You could be someone with no savings for a downpayment at all and use these steps to prepare.
- Get your finances in top shape –
- Save for a down payment – The best practice is to determine an estimated downpayment. Then look at the number of years you plan to save and determine how much to put away each month to achieve your downpayment goal.
- Check your credit score – A variety of banks offer FICO Score checks, consider looking at one of these tools for a “soft check” of your credit.
- Determine how much you are comfortable spending – Typically a downpayment is 20% off your purchasing price. If you get pre-qualified by a lender for a home, they can tell you what price range of homes you can qualify for you and this can then help frame the total downpayment amount needed.
- Find a trustworthy realtor –
- Check online for reviews – Google reviews are valuable for both the individual agent and brokerage. We recommend that you ask the prospective agent for references too.
- Ask your friends, family, and co-workers – Referrals are how most real estate professionals capture business. Use your trusted network to do the same.
- Interview – Ask questions and get to know your real estate professional. Give yourself time to feel comfortable with making a decision for who will best represent you throughout your real estate journey.
- Find a great lender –
- Ask your current bank – Most banks with who you have done business for a while will be able to lend to you. If you want though, you can explore institutions.
- Ask your realtor to direct you – If you don’t know who to lend with, consider consulting your realtor. They know who has great reputations and they too typically have a trusted network they send referrals to.
- Check online reviews – Before selecting a lender, make sure to look at their reviews online and ensure that you are covering all your bases.
- Find your home –
- Determine your budget – Now that you have determined your finances, it is important to reassess the market and make sure you are aware of how to get the most value.
- Make a wish list – Having a list that guides our real estate agent through the home shopping process can speed up the process. Separate the list with must-haves, wants, and never would want.
- Meet with your agent to narrow down your choices – Go through the list with your real estate professional to know what is feasible and align with your price range. Once the list is refined, they will get to work.
Need help? Contact one of our home buying specialists today!