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5 Tips for the First Time Home Buyer
Want to buy a home? Consider the following before taking the big plunge!
1. Are You Ready to buy a home?
You need to get your financial house in order. The first thing to determine is how much you can afford with the added expenses you may incur after purchasing a new home.
List your current monthly budget and the anticipated monthly budget you will have once you move into your home. Compare the totals and determine how much more a month you will need to live in your new home. Try living "as if you own" for 6 months, once you determine if you can live the new lifestyle, then you are ready to buy!
2. How Does Your Credit look and what is a FICO score?
A FICO score is a credit score developed by Fair Isaac & Co. Credit that gives everyone with any kind a credit a scoring method that determines if a credit user is more trustworthy in repaying their bills. It takes into account timely payments, current balances on credit cards, length of credit history, residence and other factors to see if you are a high or low risk.
There are numerous resources available online that allow you to run your credit report from the three major credit reporting companies. Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Credit scores will help a lender determine what types of loans you will qualify for and the rate of interest you will be charged. Run a report and see how you rate!
3. Do I need a down payment?
You have stories about 100% financing and "no down payment" loans. These sound great in theory, but the truth is you will pay much more in interest and for the total amount of the house. Obviously, the larger the down payment, the less your monthly payments and interest will be. Saving for a down payment could be as easy as anticipating how much extra you will pay to live in your new home, put it in savings and let it grow. When you move into your new home, you will be in the habit of making the larger payments and know that you can live sufficiently within those limits.
4. What type of house should you by?
Knowing your situational needs for space and the features that appeal to the entire family, should help you make a list of your priorities. Decided how many rooms you need, your favorite architectural style, distance to schools, shopping, hospitals, recreation and other important locations to suit your family’s lifestyle. Prioritize your list into minimum requirements and luxury "wish I had...". Have this list with you when visiting a real estate agent or just looking on your own. It will help you keep a focus on what is important and necessary in your new abode.
5. Be prepared for the hunt.
After you know where you stand and know what you then boils down to finding that dream home in the perfect location. Patience is a virtue and this is the time to exercise that trait. It can be frustrating to find that the house you want exceeds your budget, or is located in an undesirable neighborhood. Be prepared to look, ask questions and go the extra mile, but always make sure your needs list is met.
Learning details about the buying process will help make this step of home buying simple and will get you into the home that fits your needs.
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