5 Tips for First-Time Homebuyers
Looking for your first home can be a stressful process. What seems to include only one or two decisions can actually turn into a much more complicated process, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and the whole process feeling impossible. Luckily, our mortgage team at ENB has compiled 5 tips for first-time homebuyers to follow that will make the process go a little smoother.
- Improve your credit score. Improving your credit score is the first step to take when looking for your first home. Your credit score determines whether you qualify for a mortgage and the interest rate you’ll pay on that mortgage. A strong credit score will save you money in the long-run, so doing everything you can now to improve it is a critical part of the home buying process. Actions like disputing errors on your report and paying down previous debt are great ways to improve your credit score and save you time and money when buying your first home.
- Get pre-qualified by your lender. Getting pre-qualified is another step that will make buying your first home easier. When you are pre-qualified, you will receive a letter stating that you are a suitable candidate, eligible for a specific loan amount. This letter of approval will help you stand out in a competitive buyer’s market while also helping you to plan ahead by knowing the amount you will need to put down.
- Research each home. Research is critical to any decision-making process, and buying your first home is no different. Not only should you look at costs—property taxes, HOA fees, maintenance costs, commuting costs—but you should investigate the surrounding area including:
- School district reputations
- Nearby development conditions
- Convenience to parks, shopping, healthcare, and more
- Work with a team of professionals. Finding a good mortgage lender, real estate agent, insurance agent and home inspector is another critical step for a first-time homebuyer. While this may seem self-explanatory, many first-time homebuyers trying to cut costs may forego the help of one or more of these professionals in an attempt to save money. However, surpassing the help of these experts could actually cost you more money than it would save. Each team member brings knowledge to the table that will help you make informed decisions and avoid discovering problems after it’s too late.
- Ask your mortgage lender about first-time homebuyer programs. With first-time homebuyer programs, you may have the potential to qualify for special state and local programs, government loans, and lender offers. These programs could offer you lower down payments, lower closing costs, and lower credit requirements.
Buying your first home doesn’t need to be a stressful process. With the help of these 5 tips and careful planning, finding the home of your dreams is within reach. If you or someone you know is looking to finance their first home, ENB would be happy to be your financial partner. Our First-Time Homebuyer program offers a variety of financing options that can be catered to your individual situation. Contact us online or give us a call at (877) 733-6605 to get in touch with one of our experienced Mortgage Experts and start your journey to home ownership.