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Becoming a homeowner can be so exciting! It’s a major milestone that can have so many benefits for your life, but if you are planning on buying a home soon, you should know that becoming a homeowner can also involve some pretty complicated steps. The process doesn’t have to confuse you, however, especially when you remember these essential tips.
If you’ve done any research on home buying, then you know that to make a smart home purchase, you have to organize your finances. To that end, take a close look at your current income and debts to decide how much you can afford to spend on your new home.
Once you have a reasonable figure, start looking for home loans. Many first-time homeowners may be interested in FHA home loans, which typically require a lower down payment and can also make homeownership more attainable for people with limited credit histories. You can also look into securing a more favorable interest rate by paying points on your mortgage. Paying points on a mortgage means you would pay a fee directly to the lender at closing to "buy down the rate" to ultimately lead to lower mortgage payments month to month. Servicemembers, Veterans, and eligible surviving spouses should look into a VA Loan which does not require a down payment, low interest rates and no private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Not sure how much credit history you may be working with? Before you start looking for lending options, you should pull your credit reports. You can do this in several different ways, but CNBC notes there are several free services that make obtaining and understanding your credit report simple. Once you have your report, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says to be on the lookout for potential issues that could affect your chances of being approved for a home loan. This can include incorrect negative information, negative information older than seven years, or recent hard inquiries.
If your credit score is low, it’s important to take steps to improve it so you can get the most favorable rate possible. Make sure you’re making any credit payments on time and in the full amount -- or more. Paying down your debts as much as possible will help raise your score and put you in better financial standing overall, making you a more desirable candidate for mortgage lenders.
Remember that you’ll also need to budget for other moving-related expenses as well. In addition to hiring movers (more on that below), you’ll need to find room in the budget for homeowner’s insurance. Additionally, a home warranty can help you cover costs associated with plumbing and electrical repairs, in addition to major appliances. Before you make any important decisions regarding your warrant, start with home warranty reviews and see what others think.
Moves Can Be Really Stressful
If you buy a home, will this be your first big move? If you answered “yes” to that question, then you should know that moving can be stressful, but you shouldn’t let that scare you. Because you can keep your move as stress-free as possible by planning ahead and using moving checklists to guide you along the way. With a checklist in hand, you will be less likely to miss any important moving details, such as ordering packing supplies or updating contact information for utilities.
You will also be more likely to remember simple tasks that can make you move less stressful and less expensive, like researching local moving companies. If you plan ahead, you will have more time to compare local moving companies and to read through reviews that will help you choose the most reputable movers. You can also call around to different moving companies to get quotes and ask about specials or discounts that can make hiring professional movers more affordable. With professional movers included in your moving plan, you can ensure that your belongings are safely transported to your new home.
Home Buyers Should Hire Realtors
Buying a home can be a tricky process, whether this is your first home or not. Just like moving, there are so many steps in-between the time you decide to purchase a new home and the moment you get those keys, and navigating these steps on your own can be overwhelming. No matter what your friends or online articles tell you, the best move you can make when it comes to simplifying the home buying process is to hire a real estate professional to help you.
As you look for real estate professionals to guide your home buying process, take the time to understand the differences between brokers, real estate agents, and Realtors. Those differences mainly have to do with certifications and licenses, but it may help to know that only pros who are members of the NAR (National Association of Realtors) may market themselves as Realtors, and these professionals must operate under a strict series of ethical guidelines in their transactions. Don’t forget to employ professionals to help out with the closing process to ensure all the boxes are checked!
Once you’re settled in, it’s easy to forget about some of the more subtle aspects of safety, especially if you have kids or pets. In addition to the aftermath of unpacking as quickly as you can – which may leave a box cutter or tape gun left unattended – you’re likely to have leftover Styrofoam packing peanuts and even staples or thumbtacks in your home office lying about. These small items can easily end up in a toddler’s mouth or a dog or cat’s paw, so be sure to remain vigilant. No injuries during the “end game” means less stress all the way through the move-in phase.
The process of buying a home can be stressful and moving can be stressful as well. But becoming a homeowner can fulfill a lifelong dream! Use the tips above to guide you through each step of these major transitions so you can focus on the joy of owning your first home.
Looking to buy or sale real estate in the Columbus, GA area? Reach out to Realtor Carey Scott of Prestige Property Brokers. You can call 706-442-1084 or email email@example.com to get the process started today!