Tips for First-Time Home Buyers
It’s exciting to think about buying your first home! It can be a great adventure. It can also be confusing and frustrating when you don’t know what to do. Here are some important tips for making your first home-buying experience as smooth as possible.
1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage loan before you start house shopping. Remember that prequalified and pre-approved are not the same thing. You may find out that you need to work on your credit score before house shopping. Or that you haven’t been at a current job long enough. It’s better to find out if you’re approved–and for how much—before you look at houses and fall in love with one that’s outside your budget.
2. Talk to at least three lenders and compare closing costs and interest rates. Ask about Florida grants and government programs such as FHA loans, VA loans, and USDA loans, which could help you buy a home with minimal down payment and good rates.
3. Check and double-check your monthly budget. Just because you’re approved for a certain loan amount, be realistic about how much you can actually afford. Remember to factor in property taxes and insurance costs. Mortgage expenses should be less than 25% of your total take-home pay. If you overspend on your monthly house payments, you’ll face buyer’s remorse every time those inevitable repairs or bills pop up.
4. Don’t rush the process! Saving up for a bigger down payment will make your monthly payment smaller. You also don’t want to make an emotional decision. Consider not only the home’s features, but the school district, neighborhood at night and day, local taxes and electric company, and traffic patterns. Ask Leslie Wells Realty to show you around our beautiful communities of Parrish, Palmetto, Ellenton, and Bradenton.
5. Last but not least, connect with a great real estate agent. Leslie Wells Realty will work with you to lessen the fear and pressure of knowing what to do at every step. When you make wise decisions along the way, buying your first home will be the wonderful experience you hope for.