Approximately 75 percent of Americans say that buying a home is a priority for them.
Are you part of this group? Are you getting ready to take the plunge and purchase your first home? Have you already found the place where you want to settle down?
Buying a home is a lengthy and often-complicated process. You don’t have to do it alone, though.
Listed below are five tips all first-time home buyers ought to keep in mind as they begin this new chapter of their lives.
1. Pay Off Debt First
Owning a home is a major responsibility. Before you take on this challenge, it’s best to start with a clean slate.
Try to pay off all your credit card and loan debt before you apply for a mortgage. This will help you get better interest rates and terms, and it will make buying a home less of a financial burden.
2. Know What You Can Afford
Be honest with yourself about what you can afford to spend on a house, too. Set a budget for yourself and stick to it.
It helps to do this early on in the house hunting process. That way, you won’t fall in love with something that’s way out of your price range.
3. Know Your Mortgage Options
There are lots of low-to-no downpayment options that you can apply for when looking into a mortgage for your home.
Some of the best ones to try include:
- FHA loans: These loans are secured by the federal government and require you to pay very little money up front.
- VA loans: These loans allow veterans to buy homes with no downpayment
Be wary of adjustable-rate mortgages. They seem great when interest rates are low. As the market shifts, though, you may end up paying a lot more for your home than you planned on initially.
4. Get Pre-Approved
It’s best to get pre-approved for a loan before you start shopping. This will help you know exactly what you can afford.
It can also work as a useful bargaining chip if you’re shopping at a time when the market is particularly competitive.
5. Look for Financial Assistance
There are lots of programs out there designed to help first-time buyers get their first home more easily.
Look into things like a first home owners grant or offers from non-profit organizations that will help to cover a portion of the downpayment on your home and get you on your feet.
Need More Tips for Home Buyers?
The process of buying your first home can definitely be a bit of a rollercoaster.
If you keep these tips for first-time home buyers in mind, though, you’ll have a much easier time finding the home of your dreams and making sure you have the means to pay for it.
Once you’ve settled into your new home, you might be looking for more advice on how to decorate it and make it feel like yours.
Be sure to visit the Decor and Design section of our site for advice and inspiration to help you get started.