First Time Home Buyers Guide
Step 1 Establish a Budget:
Determine your current expenses and income. In addition to obvious items like rent, utilities, loan payments don’t forget to include the miscellaneous like haircuts, eating out, dry-cleaning, fuel for vehicles, and any other expenses you usually incur during the course of a month. Also add in the possible new expenses of owning a home such as lawn maintenance, cost of water for watering trees, shrubs, and lawn, Home Owner Association dues, and increased utility costs.
Step 2 Call a Lender
“Run the numbers.” Contact a loan officer and determine what your comfort level is on how much payment for a mortgage each month. Have them at least pre-qualify you for a mortgage payment you can afford and that you are comfortable with.
Have your lender at least pre-qualify you. A better option would be to pre-approved.
This option is where you will itemize all your debts and the lender will require all your current account numbers, a copy of your tax return, and your employment history. A pre-approval will place you in a stronger negotiating position when you place an offer on a property. You are letting the sellers know that you are serious and that you can afford that dream house. In addition, by having secured financing, the time period from offer to closing can be shortened.
Here is a blog I wrote on the required documentation for mortgage applications.
Step 3 When Do I Need Money:
Your earnest money check will accompany your Offer To Purchase and Contract (normally $1,000 per every $100,000 of offering price). At the time of loan application, your lender will usually require some funds to be collected for the appraisal and credit report (approximately $350). In the case of new construction, the builder will require anywhere from 50% to 100% of the upgrade costs to be paid at the time the upgrade is selected.
When the mechanical/structural inspection (home inspection) is completed, the inspector will require payment (approximately $250). All other monies (including down payment, termite inspection, proration of taxes, and others) will be collected at closing.
Step 4 Call Amy:
Buying a home for the first time is exciting but also frustrating and confusing. Our job is not only to help you find your dream home but to help guide you through the steps to successful homeownership. In addition to helping you determine your needs and desires, we can assist you in the maze of details that must be completed before closing.
Step 5 Look For a New Home:
Determine a geographical area that suits your needs for commute time, proximity to shopping, schools, and recreation. Decide whether a townhouse, condo, or single-family home fits your lifestyle. Determine amenities you would like to have in your new home – number of bedrooms, number of baths, garage, fireplace, garden tub, square footage, size of the lot, fenced yard, one story or multi-story.
‘Amy’s knowledge and connections were irreplaceable, especially to me a first time homebuyer. I believe she went above and beyond what’s required for a real estate agent. She is definitely a great asset to have during the home buying process!’ ~ Liz W 2012
Buyers Representation by Amy Shair
Call Amy at (919) 818-5001 or Info@AmyShair.com to schedule your initial Buyer Consultation.