4 Smart Moves for the First-Time Home Buyer
As the housing market continues to hold steady growth, many young, first-time homebuyers will opt out of traditional leases to purchase homes. While the prospect of buying one’s first home can be thrilling, it can also be overwhelming. With our pointers, the journey to homeownership is sure to be a smooth one.
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage helps buyers bargain from a position of strength when house hunting. One of the most important factors when it comes to qualifying for a loan is one’s credit score. There are a variety of loan programs offered at various credit levels. Prospective homebuyers should check their credit scores before beginning the search for a home. A higher credit score will give buyers the option to save on a down payment, and a low score could prevent them from getting any type of loan. For instance, FHA loan applicants with a FICO score of 580 or higher are eligible for a down payment of just 3.5 percent, compared to conventional requirements of 5-20 percent down required.
Stick to a Budget
Before buyers start browsing, it’s crucial that they first determine a price range. We recommend using a home affordability calculator to determine what kind of monthly mortgage payment will be affordable. Once a price point has been set, it is important to stick to it. There’s nothing worse than a buyer falling in love with a home he can’t afford, so this price range should be clearly communicated to the agent.
Work With a Local Real Estate Agent
When searching for a home, buyers should enlist an agent who is an expert in the target area. Someone with a true understanding of the local market will be able to advise buyers on the ideal neighborhood for their tastes, as well as more matters like taxes and other technicalities that are important before signing a contract. Finally, prospective homeowners should consider the agent’s track record before committing to him/her for representation.
If you’re looking to purchase a home in the South Florida area, turn to your real estate family at Stein Posner. Our expert team of South Florida real estate professionals are skilled in pairing prospective buyers with the homes of their dreams. Ready to start the house hunting process? Call us today.