8 First Time Home Buyers Tips from your Real Estate Agent:
1) Save, save, save for a down payment. To avoid any PMI (private mortgage insurance), be sure to save 20% of your total purchase price to be able to have this to put down towards your down payment. The minimum down payment is 3% depending on the type of loan you’ll be requesting. If you are eligible for a VA loan, they don’t require any down payment! Also, do your research to know which neighborhood you’d like to live as well as the style of home.
2) Ask your Realtor for a lender referral to seek a pre-approval letter from the bank. This will give you a realistic starting point of where you can start looking price wise.
3) Once you have your pre-approval letter and down payment to start actively looking for your first home, contact your Realtor to schedule showings on different homes you’d like to view.
4) Making an offer – once you find the home you’d like to purchase, be sure to include home inspections within your contract. (I’d highly recommend getting a sewer cam done as well).
5) Once the price has been agreed upon by you and the seller, a closing date will be set. Between now and the closing date, be sure to schedule a time for all utilities (gas, energy, water, trash, etc.. to be turned on or switched over to your name), and insurance to ensure you have all of the above when taking possession.
6) Between receiving your pre-approval letter from the bank and the closing, be sure that you don’t add any new debt. (Some banks will run another credit check to ensure the funds are still available). Don’t move any funds around during this time frame either.
7) Do not change your personal address until after the closing is finalized.
8) Once you close on your first home, CONGRATULATIONS! Start moving!