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Listen to the advice of your agent, and follow it.
Stevens Point, WI
Listen to both your lender and agent. Don't depend on HGTV for real estate advice or tactics...
Have a safety net.
In other words don't buy ALL that you can afford. Leave some room for the unexpected.
What do I advise most during the process? DON'T BUY ANYTHING ON CREDIT!!!!!
One buyer did not BELIEVE and ended up with a garage full of kitchen cabinets. tile and appliances and no house into which they could be placed.
-Get a pre-approval from a good lender and don't make any big purchases or anything with credit.
-Look at houses valued at less then what you are pre-approved for.
-Listen to all professionals involved be that Realtor, Mortgage Broker, Inspector etc. (assuming they are good & professional)
Chris Mamone Don't take on more than you can handle. Stay within your means and don't get house poor.
Set up a budget that you can comfortably manage for your first home purchase.
Don't rush to pay off your mortgage. Make sure you save for other things you need in your life. Also, aim small, at first. You can always buy a larger home 15 to 30 years down the line once the mortgage is paid. Especially look for federal home loan programs where you don't need to make a down payment or can leave a very small one.
Save 20% down, don't pay PMI no matter what and if you can afford it only do a 20 year mortgage.
- Find a lender who is well versed in first time homebuyer programs to see if they qualify.
- Don't think your questions are dumb. They're important to you, so they should be important to your realtor, lender, etc.
- Buy conservatively if at all possible.
Though they shouldn't have to ask, the realtor and lender for first time buyers (any buyers, really) should explain the process clearly so they know what to expect. No one wants to feel blindsided.
Interview more thatn one agetn and more than one lender
Save as much as you can and give the highest DP possible
Chris - I would recommend that they never max out their purchasing power on a home. Buy within their means and have enough money to live life.
A first home is just the beginning to a long life of investing in real estate (even if it is your primary residence), so take it slow. No reason to be house poor, especially on first home.
Do not max out your qualification amount.
Put money away for a rainy day. Lump sum that you never touch that can keep you paying the mortgage no matter what happens. WHY? I don't want you lose what you have worked so hard to get
Speak to a good loan officer and get pre-approved well in advance of buying. And just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD. What I mean by that is just because you can BARELY qualify for a loan doesn't mean you should go out buying a house right away. Do yourself a favor and save up some more money and get your credit in great shape. It will pay off in the long run because Lord knows you're going to need money for paint. movers, appliances, etc. Don't leave yourself house poor in your quest to become a homeowner. The goal is not just to buy a home but to keep it!
Dream big but start small. Separate emotions from the transaction and realize that in most cases the first home is an investment in the future. Buy the home like an investment - think cash flow, area (will it appreciate), and exit strategy. Choose a loan based on those things.
Improve their credit as much as possible, get pre-approved, don't buy any unnecessary or large ticket items prior to closing and don't expect to find the "perfect" house... if you can get 80% of what you're looking for in a house, you did good.