Are You Ready to Buy Your First Home?
As a first-time homebuyer, begin by making sure that you are prepared to buy a home. Start by asking yourself the questions below to help you avoid any surprises or setbacks once you get further along in the process. It’s the smart way to go from being a first-time homebuyer to becoming a first-time homeowner!
Why do I want to buy a home?
It could be as simple as wanting to get away from ever-increasing rental fees and building equity in a home. Perhaps you’re seeking a better neighborhood with better school districts. Determine what’s important and what you want to accomplish as a first-time homebuyer.
How long do I expect to stay?
Buying a home should be considered a long-term investment—one that involves upfront costs. Plan on staying in your home for at least 5–10 years to build equity and recuperate moving expenses and closing costs.
Do I have steady income?
Proving that you can afford the home will be crucial to qualifying for the loan. Also, consider the ongoing cost of owning a home to ensure that you can make payments without incurring significant debt.
Do I have enough for a down payment?
Let’s do the math. Closing costs are approximately 2–5% of the purchase price plus a down payment of 5–10%. The good news is that there are programs to help a first-time homebuyer.
What about repairs and upkeep expenses?
Calling the landlord to fix a broken air conditioner or leaky roof isn’t an option once you become a first-time homebuyer. We recommend setting aside 1% per year for unexpected repairs and expenses.
What is my credit score, and how will it affect my loan?
Find out your credit score and resolve any issues that are affecting it. The higher you can get the score, the better your chances for loan approval and getting the best rate.