First-Time Home Buyer's Guide

You dreamed of the day when you could finally have a home of your own, and that day has finally arrived! What happens now? Where do you begin? Before you start your search for the perfect home, check out this helpful guide we put together for first-time buyers.

Your Credit Report Matters

The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows you to receive a free copy of your credit report once a year from the three major reporting agencies. Once you get the reports, check each one for mistakes and delinquent accounts. Report errors and create a plan to resolve unpaid debts. When the mortgage loan office checks your report, you want them to see that you’re stable and reliable. The time before and during the home buying process is not the right time for changing jobs or buying large ticket items with monthly payments. That new car may seem like a fantastic idea, but it will impact your income to debt ratio.

Add to Savings

Your home mortgage loan will not cover all the expenses related to buying a home. You will want to pad your bank account as much as possible for these additional out-of-pocket costs that will appear. Some home mortgage loans require you to pay a down payment, which is typically twenty percent of the home’s purchase price. There are also situations where a seller won’t agree to cover closing costs, and those fees become your responsibility. You should be prepared to pay 2-8 percent of the home’s price to cover closing costs in that scenario.

Choose a Real Estate Agent

Meet with family or friends who have recent experience with selling or buying a home. Their recommendations help narrow down the choices for real estate agents in the area. Choose a real estate agent that is genuinely interested in your experience. The right real estate agent is resourceful, communicates at the highest level, and listens to your needs. You should be able to trust them with one of the biggest investments of your life.

Get Loan Pre-Approval

As soon as you know things are serious on the home buying front, apply for a home mortgage loan pre-approval. This pre-approval gives you an accurate idea of your future budget and the target price range for your property search. Besides offering valuable direction, a pre-approval is impressive to sellers because it shows that you have the ability to follow through with the purchase. If you end up in a bidding war, this letter may swing things in your favor.

Create a Wish List

Time is precious when you’re looking for a new home. Don’t waste valuable time by looking at properties that don’t fit your needs. Create a wish list that includes items you hope to find and items that are non-negotiable. Consider things like distance from work, the number of bedrooms, school zones, and community amenities. Give a copy of your wish list to the real estate agent. This list will help them choose homes that match your search criteria. When you get distracted by all the options that different homes offer, your wish list can keep you focused.

Keep Calm and Trust Your Agent

It’s unlikely that you’ll find your dream home overnight. Keep realistic expectations as you move forward and weed out homes that don’t fit your criteria. Trust your real estate agent to help you with insightful advice and helpful information. They want to make the transaction as stress-free as possible.

Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Indy Signature Group a call today at 317-345-0785 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.

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