Buying your first home is an exciting time. Looking at houses can be so much fun, but the actual process of buying a home can be confusing. I will help guide you through the process, clear up any confusion, and help you avoid any pitfalls along the way. Here are five tips first time home buyers should avoid.
1. Looking at Homes Before Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage –You wouldn’t buy a car if you didn’t know how much you could afford! It’s the same with buying a house. You don’t know how much you can spend until you talk to a mortgage broker and get pre-approved. Many prospective buyers look at houses, fall in love with their dream home thinking that it’s in their budget, only to find out that they don’t qualify. Save yourself the time and heartbreak, and get pre-approved.
2. Not Hiring a Buyer’s Agent – If you work with the listing agent (the name on the sign), their job is to protect the seller. Both the seller and the listing agent want to sell the house for as much money as possible. You are not their top priority. A buyer’s agent is there for you. A buyer’s agent is there to help you get the best deal, make sure your needs are met, and protect your interests. Even if you’re buying the house from a friend or family member, hire your own agent to protect your interests.
3. Assuming You Need a Huge Down Payment – The most common misconception is you need a large chunk of cash to buy a house. Nope! There are programs available that allow you to buy a home for no money down. Some examples are USDA, VA, and some banks offer their own programs. There are also programs that offer low down payment options (3.5% to 5%) with FHA and conventional loans.
4. Buying a Home for Today Instead of Tomorrow – What does your future look like? Are you planning on starting or expanding your family in the next few years? A two-bedroom townhouse or a home with only one bathroom may seem like a good idea until you bring a new baby home. Think about what your three to five-year plan is when you’re looking at homes.
5. Changing Your Finances Before Closing – Applying for more credit, buying a vehicle, or quitting your job can disqualify you for the loan. These things will change your debt to income ratio and can make you ineligible for the loan.
Are you considering buying a house near Camp Lejeune, NC? We expect interest rates to remain at historical lows in 2020. It’s a great time to stop renting and invest in your own future. If Kelli can help with your search, contact her to get started!
Kelli Salter is a local real estate agent serving Camp Lejeune, MCAS New River, Jacksonville, and surrounding areas. Give her a call at (910)358-8868 to get start buying a new home!