You've been hearing it for months now, it's a great time to buy a home! Interest rates are still historically low and there are plenty of homes on the market to choose from. If you're looking to make the leap from apartment dweller – or your parents' basement – to your first home, there are loads of terrific home options available.
But Where Do You Start?
Buying a home is a big deal, and it pays to get your ducks in a row before you make an offer. Here are some important steps to take.
- Save for the down payment. If you can manage to save 20%, you'll have instant equity in your home, may be able to avoid mortgage insurance and will have a lower monthly payment.
- Check your credit score. Lenders will decide whether to give you a loan and how much interest they will charge based on your credit score, among other things.
- Pay down your debt. This goes hand in hand with having a good credit score.
- Find out how large a loan you can get. A mortgage professional at CHACO can walk you through the process and help get you a pre-approval.
- Develop your homebuyer profile. Make a list of what's important to you. Ask yourself:
Find a reputable real estate agent. Ask people you trust if they would recommend someone, or if you're new to a city, ask the agent to provide references.
Research homes and recent sales nearby. Find out the average price you could expect to pay, so you don't offer too much. Your real estate agent can help.
Get a home inspection. When you've pinned down your financing and are ready to make an offer, make sure to get the home inspected first – and make your offer contingent on a good inspection.
Factor in all costs. Make a list of other expenses such as insurance, utilities, furnishings, lawn upkeep, association dues, etc. These should be included in your monthly budget.
- How long do I see myself living in my new home?
- What style of home would work best for me (single family, condo, townhome)?
- What part of town would I like to live in?
- Would I like something move-in ready or would a fixer-upper suffice?
Move In with Us
We work with first-time homebuyers every day and offer a variety of mortgage products. Our job is to make the process as easy as possible for you and to help you find the loan that will work best for your situation and your budget. Contact a CHACO mortgage professional at 513-785-3506 or visit us online at www.chacocu.orgto learn more.