Paying rent every month for an apartment you don’t own is finally getting to you. Or are your parents telling you it’s time to move out and get your own place? Do you need extra space for your dogs? No matter the reason, buying a home for the first time can be an overwhelming experience if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here are eight things every first-time homebuyer needs to know before they get started.
1-YOUR CREDIT SCORE
This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t know their credit score or haven’t even thought to look at it. If you’re one of those people, stop reading, open up a new tab, and do some research on what goes into a credit score, what affects it, and how to obtain it before you read any further. Your credit score can make or break your chances of getting a mortgage depending on how high or low it is, but there are ways to improve it if you find your score needs some work. While there’s no set credit score that you need to buy a home, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Be sure to clear any inaccuracies or bad debt before you apply for a mortgage.
2-YOUR LOAN OPTIONS
Once you know your credit score, you should have a much better idea of which loan options would be available to you. Most lenders will have a general overview of their loan products on their website with a target credit score. But depending on whom you choose, there could be some wiggle room there. Don’t stop at skimming through a website.
3-LOCATION VS. SPACE
As a first-time homebuyer, there are a lot of options and factors you’ll have to weigh. Two of the most important are location and space. Depending on where you are in life, you may have different priorities where it concerns these two factors. If you’re single, you may want to prioritize the location above everything else. If you’re moving with a family, space might be more important than being in a happening part of town. It’s important to have clear priorities so you don’t give up too much of what you’re looking for throughout the house-hunting process.
4-SAVING FOR A DOWN PAYMENT IS A GOOD INVESTMENT
If you’re ever caught between saving for a down payment or putting those savings toward an investment opportunity, remember that you won’t lose money investing in your home. Many people choose loans that either don’t require money down or require a very low percentage. Then, they end up losing money by trying to invest in something other than their home. A substantial down payment goes a long way in minimizing risk and getting you started off on the right foot with some equity. Make sure to start saving as soon as possible to make a sizable dent in your total home cost.
5-A GOOD REAL ESTATE AGENT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE
If it’s your first time buying a home, you’re going to want some help. A great real estate agent can take a lot of pressure off you and really help streamline the process. Find someone who comes highly recommended, either from a friend, family member, neighbor or co-worker and let them work for you. The right agent should be experienced, skilled, motivated, and knowledgeable about the area in which you want to buy.
6-SCHOOL DISTRICT MATTERS
Even if you don’t have kids, you should always check out a potential neighborhood’s school district before buying a home. That’s because living in an area with good schools can raise your property value. And when it comes time to sell, people with families will be chomping at the bit to buy your home.
7-DON’T JUMP UNTIL YOU’RE READY
Buying a home isn’t a process that should be rushed. It’s a huge commitment, more expensive than people realize, and not one that should be taken lightly. Before you buy a home, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into so you can decide if you’re ready from a financial and personal standpoint. Find out how much you’ll be paying in addition to your monthly mortgage payment. That includes property taxes, homeowners insurance, HOA fees, and other monthly costs. Once you have all that settled, you’ll be in a good position to decide if you’re ready or not.
8-STICK TO YOUR BUDGET
That’s what it’s for, right? Look for properties that cost less than the amount you were approved for initially. Even though you can technically afford your pre-approval amount, you should use that as a ceiling. That’s because it doesn’t account for the monthly expenses we listed earlier or any other repair costs that may arise during home ownership. Home shopping with a firm budget in mind will also help you when it comes time to start making offers. In a competitive market, it can be tempting to make a high-priced offer on a home you love. But it’s important not to let your emotions get the best of you. Shopping under your pre-approval amount will allow for some wiggle room for bidding and will help you avoid a mortgage payment you can’t afford.
Call A Real Estate Professional when you are ready to begin your search for your home.
The Robert DeFalco Business Philosophy
Robert DeFalco Realty was founded in 1987 by Robert DeFalco, Broker/Owner, a real estate broker who wanted to help families achieve their dream of homeownership. His company was founded on the philosophy “treat people well; the customers and the clients’ best interest must be considered first and foremost”.
Robert DeFalco’s tradition of honest and ethical service has become the company’s hallmark. Robert DeFalco Realty is led by a professional team of highly motivated real estate associates who have experience in all aspects of the real estate business.
Convenience and Exposure
All Robert DeFalco Realty listings are posted on all major real estate websites. They provide all their sales associates with the latest technology and support. Robert DeFalco Realty makes the home buying/selling experience easy and convenient.
Robert DeFalco Realty is currently Staten Island’s No. 1 realty office for total combined sales, with the greatest market presence and market share of any realtor on Staten Island.
Thinking of selling your home, we at Robert DeFalco Realty have you covered. Give us a call today, and one of our real estate associates will guide the way.
According to Staten Island Multiple Listing Services statistics, Robert DeFalco Realty continues to be the No. 1 Real Estate company on Staten Island, selling more homes than any other company.
Robert DeFalco Realty uses the latest technology helping both buyers and sellers. We have 5 Offices Locations To Serve You Better