5 Considerations For A First-time Homebuyer
You’ve decided to buy your first home. You know the market rates are at their lowest, and it’s the perfect time to secure a home loan. Still, buying a house is not as easy as it may look. It’s definitely thrilling, but can be a nerve-wracking journey, especially when it comes to searching for the right loan program for first time homebuyers, be it in Texas or elsewhere. You need to be prepared, and to help, we have five tips for you. Check ‘em out.
1. Evaluate your Assets and Liabilities
Chances are you settle your payment obligations on time and don’t have a lot of debt. When you’re taking on a long-term liability such as home loan, however, you need to be absolutely certain that you’ll be able to shoulder the responsibility. Monitor your spending habits and evaluate all your liabilities to assess your financial capabilities. Learn how lenders view your income, especially if you’re a self-employed person or a straight-commission salesperson, as many lenders require such people to have at least a 2 years history of solid income to apply for a loan.
2. Lock up Your Financials
Although many Texas home loan programs such as VA and USDA loans have lean credit requirements, if you’re looking for a conventional home loan, you need a solid credit score, otherwise you might have to bear high interest rates on your mortgage. Check your credit report and take other necessary steps to improve your credit score. Save for a down payment plus additional closing costs, but it doesn’t have to be as big as you think. Many programs out there require as little as between 0% and 5%, not the 20% of lore.
3. Find a Program that's Made-for-you
Thanks to the government, there are a number of home loan programs, from FHA to VA and USDA, for qualified applicants. If you feel conventional loans and their requirements are too stringent, check if you qualify for any of these programs. The VA home loan, for instance, whether you’re a first time home buyer in Texas or any other state, allows you to finance 100 percent of your home. Similarly, the USDA does not have a down payment requirement.
4. Go House-hunting, ONLY after Getting Pre-qualified
Pre-qualification is a process during which lenders discuss your income, debts, assets, and credit report to establish the amount of loan for which you are eligible. Although the figure isn’t guaranteed, it helps you search and sort properties that lie within your budget, thereby saving time and effort. Every loan applicant, be it first-time or an experienced home buyer, should first get pre-qualified and then search for a house.
5. Seek Professional Assistance
Professionals such as agents, underwriters, and loan officers can always make your home buying experience smoother. Loan officers, for example, can help with every aspect of home buying, from finding a mortgage program that best suits your needs to property inspections and closing cost negotiations. In addition, there are elements such as water damage and homeowners association fees, which a first-time homebuyer may forget but a professional, such as an inspector or loan officer, will always remember.
Purchasing a home is exciting, however, it’s a huge responsibility for an average joe, especially first-time homebuyers, be it in Texas or any other state. You need to take care of multiple factors, from evaluating your assets and liabilities, saving for the down payment, to paying closing costs and appraisal fees. Our certified mortgage experts, through experience and knowledge, can assist you on every step of the process, to ensure things run smooth till you take your first step into your new home.