Buying a house is one of the most significant investments you will make in your lifetime. As a first-time homebuyer, you may be overwhelmed with the process.
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Get the answers you need with this checklist for first-time homebuyers! It will help you stay organized so that you have everything you need to make an informed decision. From finances to house inspections, this checklist covers it all.
Establish a Firm Budget
The first pivotal step in the process is assessing what you can afford. Consider your monthly expenses, existing debts, and the amount you have saved for a down payment.
Use online calculators to gain insight into your financial capabilities. Once you have a well-defined budget in mind, you can start searching for houses that align with your financial parameters.
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
You understand what you wish to spend on the house, but you can’t move forward in the home-buying process until you receive a pre-approved mortgage rate. This important step gives you a clear understanding of your affordability and empowers you to make a well-informed and competitive offer on a house.
During this time, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of credit union or bank mortgage loans. The goal is to select the lender that offers the best approval rate in order to have more flexibility in your house selection.
Save Up for a Down Payment
The down payment is a necessary component that you don’t want to compromise during your search for a house. Most mortgage lenders prefer a 20 percent downpayment but accept a minimum of 3 percent down to purchase a home.
Keep in mind that a better down payment will establish a better loan. You’ll have less money to pay back to the bank or credit union since the down payment is an interest-free amount.
Select a Real Estate Agent
You don’t want just any real estate agent. You need someone who is responsive, familiar with the city, has great reviews, and maintains a strong network in the real estate community. Don’t be afraid to meet with several agents before making a choice. The agent you select will greatly influence your home-buying experience.
Schedule a Home Inspection
You’ve found a house you really like! It could be the one, but you need more information. Before jumping in, you need to hire a company to conduct a home inspection.
A home inspector can identify any potential issues with the house. This includes issues with the plumbing, electricity, HVAC system, foundation, and more. If they discover any problems, you have the option to negotiate the listing price for a sound investment.
Hopefully, you’ve found the vital answers you’ve been looking for with this first-time homebuyer’s checklist. Eventually, everything will align, and you’ll get closer to closing on the house of your dreams!