Buying a home for the first time can be as intimidating as it is exciting. For most people, purchasing a house will be the most important financial decision that they ever make. In order to make sure that we get the home of our dreams at the right price, we need to go into the process having thoroughly prepared ourselves. Today, we are going to outline a handful of tips that first time home buyers can take advantage of.
As we said above, buying a home can be intimidating and exciting. Whether you are looking at luxurious homes in Beaufort SC, or merely testing the market for “fixer uppers,” you still need to enter the process with enough information on your side so as to make a difference. First time home buyers typically don’t even know what they don’t know and while a realtor can help with the process, some background knowledge doesn’t hurt. Let’s leap right into our top five tips for first time home buyers so that you can feel prepared when you begin shopping around!
Monitor Your Credit
If you are looking for houses for sale in Beaufort SC, you need to know that your credit is up to par. Your credit score is the single most important number that you will look at while you shop around for homes. You can make sure that your credit report is in great shape by making getting a credit report. Make sure that the information on the report is accurate because it is possible that an account might be mistakenly listed under your name.
Establish Your Budget
When you first talk to a lender, you’re going to be given a range of mortgage loans that you can potentially afford. Remember, just because you are approved for a certain amount does not mean that you need to take out that big of a loan. Remember your financial burden and keep in mind that you’ll have to be prepared for any unforeseen financial burdens, such as emergency medical bills or a car that breaks down. If we had our preference, we would only take a house loan out that was 80% of what we were approved for—at most. It’s better to have money set aside than a house that you cannot afford.
Hire A Realtor
While real estate agents might have a murky reputation, the truth is that they can help you tremendously while you shop for a home. A real estate agent can help you find the best homes for sale in Beaufort SC that fit your needs, your wants, and your budget. You need to also realize that you don’t have to stick with the first real estate agent that you come across. If you feel that a real estate agent isn’t giving you the service that you need to feel comfortable, feel free to seek out another agent.
Save For a Down Payment
While you can be flexible with your down payment, you don’t want to be too flexible. The magic number for a down payment is roughly 20% of the total mortgage loan that you are requesting. A larger down payment eases your monthly mortgage burden while also allowing you to get better rates on your loan. Typically, you want to start saving up for a down payment around a year before you start actively shopping for the house that you want to purchase. The more you can pull together, the better. Remember: you are investing in your future with this down payment.
Look Up Government Assistance
Did you know that there are many first-time home buyer assistance programs available through both the state and federal government? It never hurts to see if you qualify for assistance via these programs as they can help you to save a lot of money in the long run. From giving you a tax credit to easing the burden of your mortgage, take advantage of the assistance that your taxes are paying for.
Buying a house is a monumental step and the process can feel intimidating, exciting and scary all at once. If you decide to follow our tips outlined above, you should be well on your way toward acquiring the house of your dream. Just remember while you shop around: there are no hard and fast rules to the real estate market. Some buyers find a home immediately while others take longer to get the job done.