9 Great Tips for First Time Home Buyers

9 Great Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Home ownership is something we all have dreamt to achieve. It has always been said that owning your home is the American Dream. Honestly, there isn’t a better feeling than to purchase a home for your family. When you finally purchase that home, you get sort of a feeling of relief. There are many steps you will need to take in order to buy that first home. Below are 9 tips for first-time home buyers.

Start Saving Money Early

You will have a lot of expenses when it comes to your first time mortgage. First off, you will need to save some money for the down payment. If you have great credit, you may put down as little as 3% of your home. If you were to put down 3% on a $400,000 home that’s $12,000. After that, you will have closing costs to pay for. These are the fees and expenses you pay to finalize your mortgage, and they typically range from 2% to 5% of the loan amount. You can ask the seller to pay a portion of your closing costs, and you can save on some expenses, such as home inspections, by shopping around. Last, but not least you will have some move-in expenses. This is for any furnishings, unexpected repairs or maybe even paying movers.

How Much Can You Afford and Stick to Budget

When you start looking for your home, you need to figure out your budget. If it’s you and your spouse, you will need to see how much you are able to safely spend. You can come with something yourselves or use a home affordability calculator. The calculator base things off your income, debt, down payment and credit score.

Improve That Credit As Much As Possible

This is one that I can’t stress enough to you. Make sure you’re on top of your credit. Your credit score will determine whether you qualify for a mortgage and affect the interest rate lenders will offer. First thing to do is obtain some free copies of your credit reports. If there are any errors on the reports, dispute them because they could be hurting your score. Pay your bills on time and keep those credit card balances as low as possible. Do not close any of your cards because that helps your available credit. Before this, track your credit score with apps like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame.

Check Mortgage Options, Rates and Fees

There are a number of different types of loans you may qualify for. The Conventional mortgages that target first time buyers require as little as the 3% down. FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration. They allow down payments as low as 3.5%. The USDA loans are guaranteed by the U.S. department of Agriculture. They are for rural home buyers and usually require no down payment. If you have been or currently in the military, the VA loans may be the way to go. They are guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and usually require no down payment. Most home buyers go for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. A 15-year loan typically has a lower interest rate than a 30-year mortgage, but the monthly payments are larger. Before making a decision, compare mortgage rates and fees.

Check For Any First-time Buyer Programs

There are many programs that will help assist first time home buyers. Many states and some cities and counties offer first-time home buyer programs, which often combine low-interest-rate mortgages with down payment assistance and closing cost assistance. Tax credits are also available through some first-time home buyer programs. Check and see which programs your state offer.

Go With Real Estate Agent You Can Trust

A good real estate agent will scour the market for homes that meet your needs and guide you through the negotiation and closing process. Get agent referrals from other recent home buyers. Interview at least a few agents, and request references. When speaking with potential agents, ask about their experience helping first-time home buyers in your market and how they plan to help you find a home.

Peep the Neighborhood, Schools and Type of Houses

One of the first things me and my wife done was do some research on the schools. We also drove around the neighborhood where we wanted to buy the house. We talked to a couple neighborhood who were outside and they gave us valuable information. We loved the area because we were less than 10 minutes from both major highways also.

Invest in Home Inspection

A home inspection is a thorough assessment of the structure and mechanical systems. Professional inspectors look for potential problems, so you can make an informed decision about buying the property. Standard inspections don’t test for things like radon, mold or pests. Understand what’s included in the inspection and what other inspections you might need. Make sure the inspector can get to every part of the house, such as the roof and any crawl spaces. Trust me, hiring one saved me thousands of dollars. They caught issues with the roof, pipes and a couple other mishaps.

Home Insurance

Your lender will require you to buy homeowners insurance before closing the deal. Home insurance covers the cost to repair or replace your home and belongings if they’re damaged by an incident covered in the policy. It also provides liability insurance if you’re held responsible for an injury or accident. Buy enough home insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding the home if it’s destroyed.


If you are in the process of buying your first home best of luck. Follow these tips and hopefully your first time homing process goes smooth.

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By Trav

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