Buying a home can be a very intimidating process, especially if you've never done it before.
Before getting a mortgage or any kind of loan, you should always check your credit.
You can calculate how much you can afford by starting online. There are several online mortgage calculators that will help you calculate an affordable monthly mortgage payment. Remember that you don't always have to put down 20 percent as your parents once did. There are loans available with little to no down payment. An experienced home loan expert can help you understand all your loan options, closing costs and other fees.
To find the right mortgage lender. It's best to shop around.
Once you have the right mortgage lender, make sure you at least get a pre-approval. Pre-qualifications are only a guess based on what you tell the lender and are no guarantee, whereas a pre-approval will give you a better idea of how big a loan you qualify for. That way, when you're ready to make an offer, it will make the sale go much quicker. Besides, your offer will look more appealing than other buyers since your financing is guaranteed.
Make a list of the things you'll need to have in the house. Once you've made a list of your must-have's, don't forget to think about the kind of neighborhood you want, types of schools in the area, the length of your commute to and from work, and the convenience of local shopping.
Now that you've found the home you want, you have to make an offer. Most sellers price their homes a bit high, expecting that there will be some haggling involved. A decent place to start is about five percent below the asking price. You can also get a list from your real estate agent to find out how much comparable homes have sold for. Once you've agreed on a price, you'll make an earnest money deposit, which is money that goes in escrow to give the seller a sign of good faith.
Make sure you get a home inspection, pest inspection, HVAC inspection, septic if needed before you close. It will be well-worth the money spent since it ensures the property's structural soundness and good condition. This is all taken care of during the Due Diligence period. Closing costs will likely include (but are not limited to) your down payment, title fees, appraisal fees, attorney fees, inspection fees, and points you may have bought to buy down your interest rate.
Buying a home for the first time doesn't have to be a hassle if you're prepared and you know what to do and when to do it. Choose an experienced home loan lender and a friendly, knowledgeable real estate agent-they are the key to helping you have a smooth home buying experience.