Have you ever wondered if you should rent or buy a home for yourself and…
Oddly enough “How do I prepare to buy my first home?” is a question we rarely get
Most people call and say “I found a home and need a mortgage.” But a home is not an impulse buy so it is important to take some time to get all your ducks in a row before making an offer.
Start your research early
As soon as you can start researching home financing. Most people spend months or years researching houses and only look into financing the moment they find the house of their dreams. Starting early with the home financing, ideally discussing it with a Loan Officer, means you’ll be an informed shopper. A good Loan Officer will also be able to give you advice on improving your loan terms.
Determine how much house you can afford
Lenders generally recommend your total house payment be no more than a third of your gross monthly income. This is typically the max debt-to-income ratio for home financing. However, getting a loan estimate from a loan officer will help you determine a comfortable payment. It is important to also consider the added cost of owning a home (utilities, maintenance, yard care, etc) when determining your budget.
I am a local mortgage broker serving Omaha, Papillion, Bellevue, La Vista, and all of eastern Nebraska. If you need help finding a local realtor or qualifying for a home loan please contact me.
Getting qualified for home financing early will show potential sellers that you’re a serious buyer. It will also give you peace of mind knowing your financing is in place. Getting qualified for a home loan can be an involved process requiring far more information and documentation than any other debt. Sitting down with a Loan Officer early allows you to walk through the process rather than scrambling for approval so you can make an offer on that hot home.
Find a real estate agent
Everyone has a friend or relative that has a real estate license. However, it is important to do your research and use an experienced realtor when home shopping. A good realtor will properly structure an offer so you do not lose the house to another buyer. A good realtor will also tell you when that cute house you found has foundation or roof issues. It is important to check online reviews and ask for recommendations before moving forward.
Now you are ready
With the financing and realtor in place, it is time to start looking. Start narrowing down your search by eliminating areas and home types that will not work for you. If you need to change your max price reach out to your Loan Officer for updated numbers. Finding a home can take some time so don’t get frustrated if you are not seeing that perfect home right away.
Other useful links
- How to improve your credit
- The 20% down rule on conventional
- What is Escrow?
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- Why your assets matter
- Mortgage Calculator
- Is Credit Karma accurate?
- FHA vs Conventional, which is better?