Financial help for first time home buyers
Buying your first home is an exciting time, and the transition from renter to homeowner has a long list of important long-term benefits. However, there are numerous thoughts and fears that many have when considering buying their first home.
When beginning the initial process of owning a home for the first time, most people spend a significant amount of time searching for the perfect home, in the right neighborhood, and in the right place. Selecting the right property that is a good fit on all levels and making sure the location meets all your requirements is obviously an important part of making sure your short and long term needs are met.
However, as you get past the initial stages of simply looking at different properties and trying to determine your exact needs, buying a home may be a little more complicated than you first thought. Most first-time homebuyers are a bit overwhelmed at first, and a top-tier real estate agent can offer first-time homebuyers significant help.
Financial help for first time home buyers
Plus 5 top tips
Think about the present and the future
When looking for the right home to buy, it’s important to think about what will meet your needs today and in the future. Most of the time, buying a home is not only a financial commitment but also a time commitment; that is, you will probably live in the house for at least several years.
If you don’t have kids, a little cabin on the lake might sound like fun now, but if you decide to have kids a few years from now, it can become impractical very quickly. Thinking about your current lifestyle and how it might change in the years to come is an important consideration and can help make your home purchase a long-term success.
Choose a real estate agent carefully
Choosing the real estate agent you work with is a very important consideration, perhaps the most important. A good real estate agent can help make the home buying process much easier and more successful. Real estate agents are seasoned professionals who know what to look for, what to watch out for, and all the important details you’ll need to take care of when buying your first home.
Some real estate agencies offer special programs that can provide significant help to first-time homebuyers, such as down payment assistance, tax credits, and special mortgage programs. There are even a select few real estate agents who are willing to waive a portion of their commission and offer it to homebuyers as a cash rebate. If there are restrictions on cash back rebates due to lender guidelines, then buyers can apply the rebate toward closing costs. Either way, it’s a significant financial bonus and can provide a boon for first-time homebuyers.
Pay attention to the type of mortgage you accept
Knowing the range of home prices you can really afford is based on many factors, including your credit score and debt-to-income ratio. Knowing your budget from a lenders perspective is very important so you don’t waste time looking for properties that don’t fit your budget and also don’t fit a lender’s criteria. An experienced real estate agent can help you through the mortgage pre-qualification process so that you are ready to not only make an offer on a property, but also be able to obtain a loan and successfully close on the property.
In some trending real estate markets, the seller will not even consider an offer unless the buyer has a pre-qualified certificate from a lender. Working with the right real estate agent who can help you get prequalified and who is also affiliated with multiple lenders, title companies, and home inspection services will help set you up for a successful buying process. In addition, it will allow you to negotiate the sale price of a home from a position of strength.
The details, terms, and costs associated with your mortgage are important to knowing how much a home will cost you each month and over the life of a mortgage. Knowing if there is a free down payment program associated with the loan, the interest rate, term and closing costs are just some of the considerations you should be clear about before committing to a mortgage. A very important element of a mortgage is whether the interest rate is fixed or variable.
A fixed interest rate will give you a fixed interest rate for the entire term of the mortgage, resulting in a predictable monthly payment that is the same month after month from the first month until the last payment is made. A variable rate mortgage will typically offer a fixed rate for a short period, such as 1 year, 3 years, or 5 years, and then the rate will fluctuate based on a set parameter, such as the London Interbank Offered Rate, also known as LIBOR.
Other expenses besides your mortgage payment
We all know it’s important to make sure you can afford the monthly payment on a new home, but what about the other costs associated with home ownership? In addition to your monthly mortgage payment, there will be other costs associated with owning a home that some first-time buyers may not have thought of. Take some time to make a list of all the possible expenses that will be included in the normal maintenance of any property you are considering.
For example; Will you need to maintain your yard to the standards set by your neighborhood homeowners association, which means buying lawn maintenance equipment or hiring a service to do it for you? What are the costs of your monthly water, electricity and gas bills? Is there adequate WiFi or cable service available and the fees associated with it?
Keeping a home in top condition is not only important for maintaining a quality of life standard and following HOA rules, city ordinances, or even unspoken rules based on how your neighbors care for their homes, but also for the value resale of a house. .
When looking at all the different properties available, it’s always a good idea to listen to your real estate agent’s advice on which homes present the best resale value opportunities. Depending on the area you are in, there will be certain properties that lend themselves to higher potential resale values due to the number of bedrooms, the amount of property the home sits on, the school district, or other factors.
An experienced real estate agent will know the area well and what will sell quickly. Listening to his advice will not only ensure a good decision today, but it can also save you major headaches when you try to sell the property many years from now.
An experienced real estate agent is the best help for first-time homebuyers
Buying your first home or even your next home can be a bit intimidating and involves making a number of careful decisions. However, working with an experienced real estate agent who works for you specifically as a buyer’s agent rather than a transaction agent will help make the process smooth and successful.
“We couldn’t imagine a better home buying experience. Our real estate agent was professional, courteous and straightforward and went above and beyond to get us a fair deal and made sure we were buying a home that was right for us. On top of all That’s right, they offer a 1% rebate on the purchase price of the home! I would highly recommend them…you just won’t find a better realtor. They gave us $3850 cash back when we purchased our home through Thank you Kellie and Kent Lighthall.”
Stay on target to buy your first home and explore available programs offered by some real estate agents; such as down payment assistance and the homebuyer cash back program, both of which are available to all first-time and next-time homebuyers.