If you are a first-time homebuyer, now is a great time to consider buying a house.
For one, experts expect rent costs to outpace home values in the coming years. Homeownership is also an excellent long-term investment.
Once you've decided that it's time to take the leap to homeownership, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Review your existing debt load. What are your current monthly payments? Student loans, credit cards, and other debt can deter you from getting an approval due to a high debt-to-income ratio. If you can, pay off debt or consolidate existing loans to lower your payment. These actions will help to reduce your debt-to-income ratios and increase your chances of a favorable decision.
Economics. It's essential that first-time homebuyers know what they can afford. Use your rent payment as a measuring stick, but don't forget you'll be responsible for unexpected expenses (e.g. repairs) that your landlord may be covering now. There are also budgeting tools you can utilize to determine affordability. If you're not sure how much you can afford and want to take your first step, stop into your local Visions branch for a pre-qualification.
Next steps. Once you are pre-qualified, determine what home conveniences you absolutely need to have with your purchase. Some thoughts to consider:
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- School district
Don't limit yourself to one neighborhood. Buying a home is an important financial decision. Partner with a real estate agent to review your options and spend time looking at homes that are within your price range. A real estate agent will help you locate affordable homes that meet your needs, then meet with you to view those homes.
Once you've chosen a home to buy, your real estate agent can assist you in negotiating the entire purchase process, including making an offer and completing paperwork.
If purchasing a new home sounds like the right move for you, take the first six steps to your new home.