According to the National Association of REALTORS®, approximately one-third of homebuyers are purchasing for the first time. Will you be joining those ranks soon? Our REALTORS® offer some valuable tips to streamline the process and help you get the home of your dreams.
- Review Your Credit Record
A good credit score lets lenders know you're a worthwhile risk, and it can also make the difference in obtaining better interest rates. Request copies of your credit record from the Big Three reporting agencies and clean up any errors or misinformation. Don't apply for any other credit during this time to avoid lowering your score.
- Calculate Your Budget
Knowing how much house you can afford keeps your eyes from getting bigger than your bank account. Use a mortgage calculator to determine a comfortable monthly payment based on selling price, down payment and interest. Don't forget to include associated fees such as taxes and homeowner's insurance.
- Do Your Homework
The most amazing house in the world is virtually worthless if it's in a neighborhood that's not a good fit for you and your family. Once you have a budget in hand, research neighborhoods for features such as demographics, commute time, school systems and local services to find one that's compatible with your lifestyle.
- Look into First-Time Buyer Assistance Programs
There are a number of federal, state and local programs that offer first-time homebuyer assistance with everything from help on down payments and closing costs to reduced interest rates. Anyone of these programs could go a long way toward stretching your purchasing power.
- Get Preapproval
When you find the right home, you want to be able to move on it quickly. A preapproval letter indicates a lender has vetted you as a solid buyer and lets a seller know you're serious about purchasing.
- Look Ahead
Where do you see yourself in three to five years? If you're single, you might marry in that time, or if you're already married, you may start a family. Buying a home is a major undertaking you're not likely to want to repeat that soon. Consider whether the home you're looking at will accommodate any life changes in the near future.
- Find a Good Real Estate Agent
As a buyer, the services of a REALTOR® cost you nothing, but their assistance is priceless. An experienced real estate agent has market knowledge well beyond what you can find on your own. They can tip you off to bargains or warn you about potential pitfalls in addition to negotiating on your behalf and guiding you step-by-step through the maze of paperwork.
Whether you're buying your first or fifth home, our REALTORS® at Margaret Rudd & Associates can help you find Southport homes for sale that check all the boxes on your wish list. Contact us to get started on the road to successful homeownership.