A Helpful Checklist for the First-Time Homebuyer

Checklist for first time home buyer - Blog

Buying your first home can be daunting, if not intimidating undertaking. From seeking financing to executing the purchase from start to finish, there are numerous steps you must be on top of in order to see the process through. Worry not, though, as we have broken down each step below so you can know what has to be done and streamline the entire process. Look at the outline below and take a deep breath—you have got this!

 

  • Get your debt paid down

 

            The first step to any home-buying process is to get a handle on your debt. A decent credit score is essential for a good interest rate that is within the range of what you can payback. If your credit score is not where you want it to be, though, there are ways to improve it! By optimizing your credit score and paying down your debts, you will be setting yourself up for success with the rest of the home buying process.

 

  • Acquire preapproval for a mortgage

 

            In order to get preapproved for a mortgage, you must first look at your income and budget to see what you can afford. The mortgage pre-approval will give you a good glimpse as to what you will be eligible for when you officially apply, as well as what you will be able to access in terms of loans. Make sure not to dismiss this step as unimportant—your pre-approval letter tells the home seller you are ready to buy the house!

 

  • Budget your expenses for the entire process

 

            The process of buying a home is expensive and often catches first-time homebuyers by surprise as they work their way through the process. It is essential that you budget in advance and have enough funds in the bank to cover a down payment, closing costs, repairs, and standard maintenance, as well as a little extra in case some unexpected costs come your way.

 

  • Figure out what kind of mortgage you want

 

            The plethora of mortgage options available to home buyers is overwhelming for anyone but can be especially so for first-timers. Would you be better off with a fixed interest rate or an adjustable one? Both come with their trade-offs, so make sure to research the implications of each ahead of time. Another important decision you will need to make is to decide between a government-backed mortgage or a conventional mortgage—again, both come with their pros and cons, but it is up to you to decide which best fits your individual situation.

 

  • Decide on the length of your home loan

 

            Last, but surely not least, you need to think about the length of time you want your mortgage to span. The typical options are either a 15- or 30- year mortgage, both of which come with their own benefits. A 15-year loan means a much lower rate, but a 30-year loan means much more affordable payments each month. Much like your considerations about your mortgage, the best option for you depends on your situation and preferences.

 

By following the guide above, you will come into each step of the home buying process knowing what to expect and what to do in order to be best prepared. While the process may get intimidating or stressful at certain points, rest easy knowing you will be more than prepared to buy your first home!

 

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