Buying your first home can be intimidating, and doing your own research online can have you feeling like you are reading a foreign language. Follow these tips for first time home buyers to see if you are ready to put the pedal to the metal on the road to purchasing your own property.
1. Get Pre-qualified
Maybe you are still on the fence about whether or not buying a home is the best next step for you, and you aren’t even sure what you can afford.
Starting the home buying process without getting pre-qualified for a mortgage is similar to walking into a store without your wallet. You might see some things that interest you, but you have no idea how much money you have to spend or a way to make a purchase.
2. Down Payment Assistance
So, we have some good news and some bad news. Let’s pull the bandaid off first!
The bad news is, conventional home buying protocol says that you need a 20% down payment to buy a house. Let’s face it, that number can sound pretty unrealistic, especially for a first time home buyer. Luckily, a down payment for a home purchase can be as low as 3.5%, but even still, saving up a decent amount of cash is difficult when you are starting out. Don’t get discouraged yet! The good news is, there are a number of homebuyer programs and grants where, with their assistance, you might have the opportunity to pay less than 3.5% or nothing at all on a down payment.
3. House Hunting Online
If you don’t have a ton of free time, you will find that when your house hunt is in full swing, searching online might be the best option for you. Starting your house hunt online can also be a great way for someone who is on the fence about purchasing a home to get to know the market and explore their options. Whether you want to move down the street or to a neighboring city, you will most likely start your house hunt online!
Here are some tips for your online house hunting:
- Search on a reliable site with accurate prices, not estimates (the local MLS is the best source)
- Narrow down your search by researching local neighborhoods
- A picture isn’t always worth 1,000 words – some sellers use outdated or inaccurate images for their listing
- Write down questions you have about properties as you’re searching to ask your Henderson Realtor
4. Ask Yourself the Hard Questions
The decision to buy a home is one of the biggest ones you will ever make, and that can be very exciting (and a little scary). Although we can probably all agree that buying a home is a good financial decision, what’s not so easy to agree upon is when the time is right for you to make the leap from renting to owning, and you are the only person who can make the choice!
Ask yourself these questions:
- How do monthly mortgage payments and rents compare in your community?
- Do you have any savings?
- What does your credit score look like?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
You aren’t alone in this! We can help you decide if moving forward with home ownership is the right choice for you, or if you need to wait a little longer. It might be time to stop paying someone else’s mortgage! If you’re ready, let Henderson get you started on the journey to homeownership today.