10 Home Loan Tips to Help You Survive Your First Purchase

In the life of an adult, there are a few times that are commonly stressful. One is getting married. Another is having a child. And, buying a home is another.

While it might be exhilarating to search for homes and wander through open houses, the actual process of buying a house is enough to force someone to live in an apartment forever. From the waiting to the paperwork, there is nothing else quite like buying a home. Fortunately, there are a few tips from the pros that can help you survive the stress, struggle, and moments of impatience.

10 Home Loan Tips to Help You Survive Your First Purchase - home loan image

1. Understand What You Can Afford

Having the biggest house on the block might be your dream, but being “house poor” is no fun. When you shop for your home, find something you can afford so you can enjoy living in your home. Learn what you can afford before you even begin to look so you do not fall in love with a house that you cannot afford.

2. Get Pre-Approved

Once you know what you can afford, it is wise to talk to a mortgage expert and get pre-approved for a home loan. This will give you credibility with sellers, especially if you want to see homes by appointment. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is not the same process as getting a mortgage, it simply means that you have the income and credit rating that qualifies you for a mortgage of a pre-approved amount.

If you get into a bidding war with another buyer, having a preapproval letter could give you an advantage.

3. Research Neighborhoods

If you find a home that seems like the price is just too good to be true, there is usually a reason – the neighborhood. It is amazing to consider that a similar home could range in value dramatically because of the neighborhood.

Prior to choosing a home, responsible home buyers will research neighborhoods, especially the schools, the public transportation options, the noise, and the nearby shops and other amenities. Check out how neighbors interact with each other. Look at how neighbors take care of their yards and where they park their cars. Some neighborhoods have associated fees, which can substantially add to monthly payments.

4. Prepare For The Added Costs

When you buy a home, there are more expenses than the down payment and the monthly payment. There are good-faith deposits, closing costs, inspection fees, homeowners insurance, and moving expenses. Make sure that you can afford all of them.

5. Decide What You Need Now

Many first-time home buyers will buy a house for the future. They will look for homes with several bedrooms, large yards, and plenty of places for children to play – even if they do not have any children.

Then, they have to take care of all of that space and make those massive mortgage payments. This leaves little time to consider having children because home expenses are so high.

There are also home buyers who will buy a very small home because there are just two people in the family at the time. But, then children come along and there simply isn’t time to find a bigger home and move because it is time-consuming and expensive to raise children.

Somehow, you will decide what suits your needs and your budget now and will keep you comfortable if your situation changes.

6. Get Involved In The Inspection Process

This can be overwhelming for the buyer and seller. The inspection is usually limited, so it can be helpful to ask for additional inspections. You will have to decide if the home is going to be safe to live in and if you can live in it without worrying about constantly having to repair it.

It is worth the extra money to pay for inspections for mold, insects, and radon. It is also worth it to pay for the inspector to evaluate the roof and crawl spaces. You should do everything in your power to attend all of the inspections. If you have a concern, ask the inspector to look at it the concern a second or third time.

7. Work With Professionals

It might be enticing to buy a home for a low cost or for free through your brother’s uncle’s best friend who sold houses in 1979 but still has his real estate license, but it certainly will not help you in the long run.

It might seem like a waste of money to pay a realtor, but good ones can actually make the process less stressful. Do not skimp here, or you will pay for it in other ways.

8. Save For A Down Payment And For A Problem

When you are saving for your down payment, you should also save for the first problem. Most expensive problems happen when you least expect it. The furnace might quit in the middle of a snowstorm. Your water heater will die when you are taking a shower on the coldest morning of the year. Your garage door opener breaks when you are late for work.

When you own a home, you have to pay to fix the problems that arise. And, they will arise. You just don’t know when. So, having money set aside to fix those problems makes them get fixed faster.

9. Learn How Mortgages Work

Mortgages are complicated. They are more than down payments and monthly payments. There are special home loans for first-time buyers. There are home loan programs for veterans and for people in special industries, like medicine. You can find out more from mortgage websites about the specific products that meet your needs.

Mortgages also come with options. There are ways to reduce down payments, but other costs increase. You can choose to get a 30-year mortgage or a 15-year mortgage. You can choose to have an adjustable interest rate or one that remains steady throughout the term of the loan. The options are plentiful and can be customized to meet your financial needs.

10. Learn Patience

The process of buying a home requires patience. When people hurry through it, problems usually happen. Learn to work methodically and patiently through the process, so you are sure that everything will work out properly and in your best interest.

Leave a Reply