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FAQS FOR FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS

March 16, 2021

Q – I’ve never purchased a home before. Where should I begin?
A – Actually, you’ve already started the process. Fact-finding and reading articles is a great way to become a smart consumer. The highest priorities to focus on before you begin searching for specific areas, neighborhoods, or homes would be to:
1. Familiarize yourself with your personal finances.
2. Learn about the real estate market.
3. Carefully review your budget and begin to eliminate as much debt as possible.
4. Find out what kind of loan you qualify for, how much you qualify for and how much (if any) down payment is needed. This will help guide you through the purchasing process and let you know what price range to start looking in.
5. Contact me. As your home buying specialist, I’ll protect your interests and manage the details of the real estate transaction on your behalf to your complete satisfaction.

Q – How do I know how much I can afford?
A – You should prepare a budget and check with a mortgage broker to do the calculations. As you do the paperwork, be sure to include things like insurance, property taxes, and home maintenance. One surefire way of evaluating how much you can afford is committing 30% of your net income to pay the mortgage. If you stretch yourself too thin, you could be headed for a disaster.

Q – How do I decide which type of loan is right for me?
A – We can recommend several trusted lending professionals or you can choose your own. Having upmost confidence in your lender is important. Be sure you feel completely at ease with them. Ask lots of questions and never sign any document until you know what you are signing and feel completely at ease signing it. Of course, the type of loan best for you depends on several factors. Here are just a few:
* How much money do you have for a down payment?
* How long do you plan to live in the home?
* Do you qualify for a USDA, FHA or VA loan?

Q – Can I afford to be a first-time home-buyer?
A – There are a few things that signal it’s time to buy your first home. They include:

* A steady job – your income is reliable for the foreseeable future
* Minimal outstanding long-term debts
* You can afford to pay taxes, insurance, utilities, etc.
* A savings plan is being utilized

Q – How do I find the right lender?
A – You should shop around for the best mortgage terms. For instance, you can approach a bank, credit unions, and other institutions that offer competitive rates. Prudent buyers will seek out different mortgage rates before selecting one that suits them best.

Q – Will my credit score impact my ability to buy a home?

A – Yes. A mortgage lender will use this score to summarize loan history and give a snapshot of your financial standing. Your score will help them decide how much they can lend and at what interest rate. If your score is low, you should fix it before you approach the lenders.

Q – Do I need a real estate agent?
A – Yes. Technically speaking, it will be a lot harder to do it on your own. Professional real estate agents are up to date with the current market conditions and understand the closing process. You’ll want the best and most accurate information available. Additionally, to ensure the buying process runs smoothly, they can help with:
* Finding appraisers
* Connecting with the best lenders for financing
* Negotiating on price

Q – What does a monthly mortgage payment cover?
A – As a first-time home-buyer, you should know that your monthly payment won’t meet all the costs of buying a home. It covers these items if escrow is set up:
* The principal amount of loan
* Property taxes
* Homeowners insurance
* Interest fees
You’ll have to make a separate payment for homeowners’ association fees, internet services, and utility fees.

Q – How much should I pay as the down payment?
A – On average, most lenders will ask for 5-20% of the value of the property. However, the amount you pay will depend on the type and length of the loan. Most people save to raise the amount needed to make the first down payment. To help you get the best answers, we work with trained and certified loan originators.

Q – How long will it take to buy a house?
A – There’s no one-fits-all answer to this question – every home sale is different. Once you find a home and the offer is accepted, it will take approximately 45-60 days to close the loan. During this time, the home inspections are completed, and financial documents are finalized.

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