There are few things more exciting than getting ready to purchase your first home. Even when you have never gone through the process before, you can take steps to be better prepared for when you find your dream home. You don't want to let your enthusiasm push you into paying too much for a home, or jumping at the first accepted offer. The home buying process takes time and negotiation. The more prepared you are when you begin looking for homes, the better chance you will have at paying a fair price for a home that you love.
Get Your Finances in Order
You will be asked for all kinds of financial paperwork when you apply for a mortgage, and it's important to begin collecting this information now. Locate pay stubs and bank statements for at least the last three months, and put all of your financial information in one place. Go through your current bills to get a clear picture of the amount of debt you are already paying every month. One of the biggest mistakes first time home buyers make is not looking at their whole financial picture when determining the amount of home they can afford.
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
The best way to stay within your budget when looking for a new home is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Once you know know the price range you can look in, give yourself a little breathing room by looking at homes that are in the middle range of your price range.
Look at Comparable Properties for Prices
While the listing agent may provide you with a list of comparable properties and their prices, you can do some of this research on your own. When you do your research regarding home prices, you will know when you make a reasonable offer on a property that you love.
Remember the Closing Costs
It costs money to buy a single family home, in the form of closing costs. Whether these costs are rolled into your mortgage, or you decide to pay these costs up front will be up to you. Closing costs rolled into your mortgage will increase your mortgage payment slightly, so remember to budget for these expected costs.
Home ownership has many rewards, but it comes with many responsibilities too. Talk to an experienced Realtor about your options, and take your time as you consider which property to buy.