Easing anxieties for first-time homebuyers
Buying a home for the first time is a life-changing event. Consequently, a great deal of time, energy and emotion get poured into the process, creating plenty of home buying anxiety. Here’s some advice to help any first-time homebuyer feel secure and supported while dealing with the stress of buying a house.
Don’t dread that down payment
While a down payment can certainly help secure a house, prospective homebuyers may not need as big of a down payment as they think. There are Down Payment Assistance (DPA) programs and loans with a variety of down payment options. Being short on cash doesn’t mean it’s impossible to buy a home and 20 percent down isn’t an ironclad requirement. Dispel down payment dread and other misconceptions about buying a home so you can happily home shop.
Find the full financial picture
One way to ease the stress of buying a house is to use the full range of research tools available online to find out what homes cost and what you can afford. Use a mortgage calculator to research monthly mortgage payments and GRAffordable to see available loan options. At some point, you’ll need to know the state of your credit if you don’t already (FYI, Guaranteed Rate offers a credit check during the pre-approval process). Budgeting and loan shopping ensure first-time homebuyers get a full view of what they can afford. Student loans and other debt could be a factor if you’re buying a house for the first time. Fortunately, they don’t have to block the path to homeownership. Options such as FHA loans, which allow lower down payments and higher debt ceilings, could be the answer.
Use technology like digital open houses
Technology can help determine where you stand financially and offers many research tools for the housing market. Many Real Estate Agents have easily searchable websites and apps with interactive home interior photos for you to peek into houses and their prices. You’ll frequently discover comparable properties when using these digital tools. Here’s a little hack: walk, drive or bike around a neighborhood while running an app to point out properties for sale you can visit nearby.
Learn about the mortgage process
The mortgage process might add to your home-buying anxiety or seem intimidating, from odd new acronyms to why it’s better to be pre-approved than pre-qualified. There is plenty of paperwork and a lot of personal financial history to examine. You may need to provide bank statements, at least two years of W-2s, work history and other documentation. Fortunately, a lot of traditional paperwork can now be submitted digitally. This will save you a good deal of time and hopefully make the process easier when you’re ready to start financing. You will also have a home mortgage team to help you through the process.
Shop for your home mortgage team
Buying a new house doesn’t happen overnight. Gathering all the necessary documentation to apply for financing and find a home you’re happy with will likely take some time. You’ll want to look closely inside each property under consideration and weigh your choice carefully. This could take some time and expertise, so you’ll need a strong support team in place. Tell your family and friends about your home shopping so more people are invested. You need to have faith and trust in your real estate agent, loan officer and every member of your team. Choose them as carefully as you would a new home to ensure they aren't adding to the stress of buying a home. The good news is that you all have a shared goal and there’s a new home waiting for you at the end! That should keep everybody in the game.
For what it’s worth, 96% of Guaranteed Rate’s customers were satisfied* when working with us. Give us a call or get started online if you’re ready to partner with us. You deserve the best of the best during this milestone.
*96% Customer Satisfaction: Data Source: Guaranteed Rate’s Client Satisfaction Surveys (Averaged 2019)
Guaranteed Rate, Inc. is a private corporation organized under the laws of the State of Delaware. It has no affiliation with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, the US Department of Agriculture or any other government agency.