When you are looking to buy your first home and take on the huge responsibility of adult hood their can be a lot of things for first time home buyers that they have no idea in. It can be very stressful and confusing. I am here to help! Here are my top five tips to help you on your way when buying your first house.
- Budget! Budget! Budget! Before you even start the idea of looking at a house to buy, you need to set up a budgeting plan. This is something a lot of first time home buys go nah I’ll be fine. Trust me we all say that. I highly suggest starting a written budget plan, there are lots of methods to use well budgeting. You can use a budget binder, budget envelopes, or budget book. Are all great places to start. If you go to Michaels craft store they have budget books. I get mine their and write out all my monthly cost, out saving plans and what we actually spend. I keep a strict list of all our spending and eating out, bills, to left over money at the end of the month. Once you start doing this you will create a savings plan. This saving plan can either help go towards the down payment or become a emergency fund which you will need to make along side your mortgage payments, the reason I say this is because if anything were to happen you want to have an emergency fund to help you pay for you home till your back on your feet. So budget budget budget! And implement a savings plan!
- What hidden cost! When buying a house their are a lot of hidden cost no one tells you about. Here’s an example. You will need 5% of your purchase price to put down on the home! That can range anywhere from 10,000-20,000 dollars. Than you will need 5,000 roughly to put down as a deposit on your house you want to buy to make an offer and hold your offer this covers your but well for a week into the deal where u can back out and get your money back if you decide not to go through with the house. But that deposit goes towards your total down payment/mortgage on the house too. You will need to save 1000-2000 dollars for closing fee’s on a house. This one is a huge responsibility because it has to be paid in order for you to get the house. This is why I said above budgeting is a must before you even start looking at houses you will need to either put away 7000 and borrow the rest for the down from family or their are options to borrow money for your down payment from a bank that you pay back over a 5 year term on top of your mortgage. Look into first time home buyer programs in your area sometimes they have down payment grants too but over all you will need to start a savings account and get a budget going to be mostly prepared for the hidden costs.
- What to ask as a home buyer. When you are buying your first home I suggest asking as many questions as possible. No matter how little or how big. Also do a lot of research before buying your first home. We spent 6 months researching and looking at different houses before narrowing down 3 houses in our lower area of our price range. Ask questions like what are the taxes on the property a year, if their are any condo fee’s, is their a gas furnace or a power furnace, how long has it been on the market, we’re their any previous offers, is their a quick possession date or a lengthy possession period, are the sellers willing to move on the price, do the appliances come with the house, what is the rough power, water, gas bill a month something they can find that out for you. When talking to a banker always ask if they have any programs for first time home buyers. Is their any down payment plans, what would be my pre approval interest rate, what can I get pre approved for so I know my max budget on buying a house. Their are many questions to be asked when buying as house so feel free to ask all your questions.
- Credit and Interest Rates. When buying your first home something you need to consider is your credit score. If you do not have a credit, you will want to start building one buy using a credit card which I caution you it is easy to go into debt with a credit card so be responsible. You will need to have a credit score of 600 -780 to be approved for a mortgage. The reason you need a medium to high credit score is so the bank knows your history of paying back money, and what your reliable for. Having good credit score means you have paid back your debts and always made sure you were in the good. Along side good credit score you want to lock in the lowest interest rate you can on your mortgage! Why you may ask we’ll locking in the lowest Interest rate in a Mortgage makes your payments less a month which only benefits you! You will need to be approved at the highest interest rate when applying for a mortgage which is roughly at that 4% Mark. But if you can get a pre approved mortgage at an interest rate of 3 % – 3.5% your looking at lower payments and more money in your pocket. Always ask your mortgage broker to try to get you in at the lowest interest rates if possible. Make sure you find a trusting mortgage broker who actually cares about the affordability for you not just wanting to make cash off your purchase. I can’t stress that enough. But don’t look at 20 different banks for pre approved mortgages because that will lower your credit score every time they check your credit. Look online to see the lowest interest rates for mortgages and pick your bank that way. Or go with whatever bank you have your debit card through because most will work with you to get you to stay at the bank you have been loyal to for years.
- Making a Plan and Checking Affordability: Making a plan and checking your affordability factor when buying your first home is a must. Write out all your bills each month, including groceries, gas, and necessities. Than write out how much you can afford. When we were buying a house I wrote down our estimated mortgage, house insurance, loan, taxes, and condo fee’s. Than I added on our power bill, water bill, heating bill, gas, car payments, groceries, everything for the entire month and check the affordability of it for us as a family. If it didn’t work I knew I needed to either look for a cheaper house or pinch penny’s somewhere. We went lower on our budget to give us 1000-1300 dollars extra a month for expenses. You want to have that extra money just in case and to put away in your emergency fund each month. I highly suggest using online mortgage calculators to help you get our best estimate for mortgage payments, look up house insurance plans and prices, make sure you cover all your bases before hand. You don’t want to buy the house unprepared.
Thanks for reading my top five thing you need to know when buying first house wishing you luck on your first time home purchase!