10 tips for buying your first home
Guaranteed Rate's 10 tips for buying your first home:
1. Get pre-approved:
This will help determine how much you qualify to borrow and what you’re comfortable paying.
2. Check your credit:
Even if you have blemishes on your credit, you may still be able to qualify for a loan. Your loan officer can educate you on the many factors involved.
3. Determine your down payment:
Requirements vary depending on the type of loan, loan amount, and available down payment assistance programs.
4. Save for closing costs:
They may include, but are not limited to, title policy insurance, mortgage insurance, fire/flood/homeowners insurance, recording fees and loan origination fees.
5. Explore ways to lower your rate:
You may be able to pay points (fee charged by a lender; one point is equal to 1% of the loan amount) at the beginning of the loan to lower the interest rate charged.
6. Decide between fixed or adjustable:
Depending on your short- and long-term goals, you may wish to take advantage of a fixed rate loan or one that adjusts periodically over time.
7. Consider conventional and government loans:
While conventional loans may feature fixed or adjustable interest rates, FHA, VA and USDA loans typically involve a fixed rate.
8. Take advantage of first-time homebuyer programs:
Ask your mortgage expert about options that are customized for those who have not previously owned a home.
9. Factor in mortgage insurance:
Home loans with a down payment of less than 20% will most likely require mortgage insurance.
10. Attend first-time homebuyer counseling:
Learn about selecting a home, realtor services, homeownership responsibilities, saving for a down payment and other essential elements.