The engagement and wedding planning season is such an exciting and exhilarating time as two people start to plan their lives together. There are so many decisions to make and one of the most important decisions is deciding where you will live!
You might think that you’re far from home ownership in your current situation, but you may be surprised at just how easy it is to get into a house! With rent prices steadily on the rise, you may actually pay less on a mortgage than you do in monthly rent – and you’re building equity in the home and increasing your net worth in the process.
I’d love to share a few tips about buying a home for the first time so you can talk with your soon to be spouse and see if home ownership is closer than you think!
1. Get pre-qualified before you look at houses
No matter what the demand is on the housing market at the time you’re looking, houses can move really quickly. And, if you don’t figure out how much you can afford from the get-go, you could fall in love with a house that you can’t afford. Pre-qualification makes your offer stronger and helps you be ready to pull the trigger as soon as you find “the one.”
2. First Time Homebuyers Only Need 3% Down Payment on a Conventional Loan
It’s a common myth in home ownership that you need a 20% down payment on a house. That is not the case! You can get into your first home for as little as 3% down – that sounds more appealing, doesn’t it? Of course, you’ll need to figure you might have to put out some money for closing costs (unless the seller agrees to pay for them), but this simple fact means home ownership is nearer on the horizon than most people know.
3. Keep Track of Your Finances in the Process
There is nothing worse than getting close to closing on a new home and then finding out something has snagged the process and now you’re unable to close. It takes about 30 days to close a mortgage loan, and you’ll need to make sure your financial situation stays the same throughout. This means you don’t want to start a new job, open any new lines of credit or purchase something big like a car. Save your money until after you’ve closed and then you can pick out that new furniture you had your eye on!
4. Find a Realtor
House hunting on Zillow can be fun, but you’ve got to have someone on your side who can do all the hard work for you! It doesn’t cost anything to use a Realtor to buy a home, and you’ll want the local expertise as well as someone who can advocate for you on your behalf in one of the biggest purchases of your life!
Thank you to Allen Tate Realtor Lauren Vail for providing this insight!