The First Time Homebuyer's Timeline: What Every First Time Homebuyer Needs to Know Before Buying a Home.
Buying your first home can be a daunting task. Many people think it's as simple as picking out a house and putting up some money as a down payment. But this is far from the truth. There are many little steps you will take in order to buy your dream house. Here are a few of the more notable steps in any first time homebuyer's timeline that you should be aware of before embarking on your house hunting adventure.
1. Check your credit report. Step one of the home buying experience should always be to know exactly where you stand when it comes to your ability to borrow money. Get a copy of your credit report, dispute any errors with the credit bureaus and look for accounts that can be paid down or paid off. You need to be current on all your accounts, have a minimum of late payments, and lower revolving account balances. Do not close accounts that have a zero balance as these will decrease your income to debt ratio, which is a positive thing.
2. Check your bank account. Ideally, you will have 20% to put down, but know that you can buy a home with less money if you have good credit. If you lack the necessary cash, like I did, you can look for a house where the sales price is less than the appraised value.
3. Use a mortgage calculator to see what you can afford, what you qualify for, and what your payments will look like.
4. Figure out what you need in a house and then make a list. When I began making my short list of houses, I considered the obvious things like the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, acreage, etc. But I also took into consideration closet and other storage spaces, the proximity to schools and parks, and even whether or not there was a dog park nearby for Riley. These were the things I knew were important to me and so I added them to the list of non-negotiable items. You may place a higher priority on the number of cabinets in the kitchen or the availability of built in shelving, but whatever it is, include it in the criteria.
5. Find a realtor. The relationship should be cordial and professional, but also personable. You can start by asking the listing agent of one of your potentials to show you around and then suggest that he or she show you others or suggest someone to work with.
6. Get pre-approved. The pre-approval process will let sellers know that you are a serious and qualified buyer, which gives you some leverage in the negotiation process.
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Submitted on: 2013-12-02 23:50:34