Buying a new home can be stressful, especially if it’s your first home purchase. You want to make sure you choose a great house that will fit the needs of you and your family, but not spend more than you can reasonably afford. What other mortgage and financing factors should you know about before deciding on a house to buy or build? Loan officer Susan Gifford-Langley from First Colony Mortgage joined us with 6 tips for the first time homebuyer.
1. Get Pre-Qualified Before You Look
Don’t fall in love with a house you can’t afford. Talk to a loan officer before you start looking for a home and get pre-qualified; that way you’ll know your price range before finding that perfect home or floorplan. A loan officer can give you an approval letter that will show agents that you are a serious buyer, and speed up your loan processing time.
2. Down Payments Determine Your Options
Now is the time to save for a down payment. The amount you put down will determine several factors. If you have a 5% down payment there are good loan options for you, but you will also need mortgage insurance. If you have 20% down, that mortgage insurance payment isn’t necessary. A loan officer can help find the best loan program for you.
3. Pick a Loan Type to Fit Your Needs
Just as people are different, so are different loan types and individual needs. There are many great options for first-time homebuyers, like traditional conventional and FHA loans to Utah Housing, VA and Rural Housing loans too. Everything depends on your situation, down payment, credit and more. There are even community grant programs available to help with things like down payments and closing costs to those who qualify.
4. Buying a Home Involves More Than You
Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make. Besides you and your loan officer, many people work on your behalf to buy/build a home. Real estate agents and local builders are your friends. They are familiar with local communities and floorplans that will fit your needs. We also work with appraisers, home owner insurance agents, title company agents and more along the way to ensure your loan is ready to close when it’s time.
5. Location Location Location
You need to love your home’s location just as much as the house itself. Take a look at the neighborhood, drive by at different times of day so you get a real feel for the location. Find out what school boundaries you are in and how close the stores are. If these things are not important to you, but will be if you ever decide to sell your home.
6. Be Careful with Credit
You are buying a home, but now is not the time to buy stuff to fill it with. Don’t take on any new debt during the loan process. This could be anything like buying new furniture for your home on a credit card or financing and new car. Acquiring new debt will alter your debt ratios and can disrupt or compromise your mortgage. If you have questions about this, give us a call. If anyone has recently pulled your credit for a loan it will show up. Make purchases after your mortgage loan closes!
For more information visit firstcolonymortgage.com.
This story includes sponsored content.