Free Checklist for New Home Buyers

Free Checklist for New Home Buyers

If you’re thinking about buying your first home, you most likely have a lot of questions. How do you figure out which homes are in your price range? What will you need to get approved for a home loan? When you start looking at houses, how do you know which one is the right fit? Use the following information as a checklist as you prepare for home ownership.

Check Your Credit Score

Your credit is one of the most important factors when it comes to purchasing a home. As soon as you start thinking of buying, get a copy of your credit report from the three major credit unions. Your credit report can contain errors that reduce your score and result in higher loan rates. Work to correct any errors and try to remove negative items that aren’t errors.

Decide How Much You Can Afford

Many mortgage companies have free calculators to figure out what home price range you should be shopping in. Lenders weigh your debt against your income to figure out how much you can afford. Review your anticipated monthly payment and see if it will fit comfortably within your budget.

Start Saving for a Down Payment

Conventional mortgage loans require a 20 percent down payment. If you can save up the cash it might land you a better interest rate, and help you avoid having to pay for private mortgage insurance. If you can’t save that much, you still have options. FHA offers loans that only require 3.5 percent down. Some lenders even provide zero down mortgages, but expect to pay for it through higher interest rates.

Assess Your Priorities

Make a list of what you hope to find in your new home. Decide what elements you absolutely must have and don’t even look at homes without them. Make a separate list of features you would like, but don’t necessarily need. The perfect home will have everything on the first list and many of the items on the second.

Complete Loan Paperwork

Visit your lender and find out what they require for pre-approval. Here are some of the documents most banks require.

  • W-2 forms
  • Tax returns for at least two years
  • Pay stubs
  • Bank, brokerage account and 401(k) statements
  • Previous addresses for up to seven years

Select a Realtor

A realtor’s full-time job is to walk buyers through the process of finding and purchasing a home. Experienced realtors have a solid feel for home values in your area. They work with contracts and conditions on an almost daily basis, so they can help guide you through.

A realtor can also help you avoid common first-time buyer mistakes. Choose an experienced realtor that understands the mindset of home buyers and sellers and has a solid knowledge of the regional marketplace.

Start Looking at Homes

Your realtor can send you homes in your price range that meet your priorities. When you find the right one, decide what to offer. Base your initial offer on the prices of similar homes, the condition of the house, and what you can afford.

Hire Realty has a team of professionals who specialize in helping clients find their perfect home. If you’re thinking about buying your first home, we can help you every step of the way. Contact us today to talk to one of our real estate professionals.


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