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Are you getting ready to buy a home for the first time? Spring and summer are common times of the year for many home buyers to make their move. If you’re planning on buying a house, whether or not it’s your first, here are five helpful tips for today’s home buyer. Plus, we’ll shed light on a few misconceptions.
You Don’t Necessarily Need a 20% Down Payment
It’s certainly wise to put as much as you can toward a down payment, but it’s not absolutely necessary. Some credit unions have loan programs that require as little as 3% down and even have programs that help pay closing costs. Rates are still great and real estate is a very smart investment. In 2016, there was a 7% appreciation in home values in Austin. So there is no need to wait to save up large sums of money before you benefit from home ownership.
A Good Home Inspection Is Your Safety Net
A well-done inspection can reveal issues you should know about before you commit to buying. You stand to learn about costly repairs or home improvement projects that could affect your decision to make an offer. The peace of mind that comes with a home inspection from a certified professional is worth the extra cost.
Visit UFCU.org or give us a call at (512) 997-4663 (HOME) for a free, no-pressure mortgage loan consultation. You can also visit your local financial center anytime to chat with a Personal Financial Representative or apply online now.
Your Real Estate Agent Is on Your Side
Real estate laws and regulations change fairly often. And it’s a real estate agent’s job to stay on top of those changes and help guide you through the process of buying a home. Even with professional guidance from a real estate agent, buying a home can be stressful and confusing, especially for first-time buyers. Those who work with a qualified agent are much more likely to get the home they want at a fair price. Find an agent who is recommended by friends or colleagues and take advantage of their expertise and experience.
Stay on Top of Your Credit
Just because you’ve been prequalified for a home loan doesn’t mean you can’t still be rejected later. Many lenders will order a final credit report just before your closing to make sure your financial situation hasn’t changed since your loan was approved. If you’ve been shopping around and taking out loans for other large purchases, your mortgage could be rejected. Stay on top of your credit report and stay in touch with your lender. Once you’ve been a preapproved for a home loan, stay away from additional credit requests until your mortgage closes.
Remain Calm and Optimistic
Buying a house is a multi-faceted decision. It can be tough for some people to separate their emotions from their financial and practical objectives. It’s best to calmly and optimistically focus on your objectives. Don’t rush into homeownership or buy the first house you see. Instead, consider several properties and take some time to mull them over. Create a list of pros and cons for each property and make sure you can afford the homes you’re considering. Some real estate agents might try to pressure you into making a decision quickly so you don’t “lose your dream house,” but the right real estate agent for you will have your best interest at heart. Take your time.