35% of all homebuyers are buying their first home. Are you ready to join their ranks?
Read on for the ultimate first time home buyer checklist to help you make the process a piece of cake.
Table of Contents
Review Your Credit Score
Sure, looking at virtual tours of your dream home is the best part of buying a home. But, in order to get there, you need to do the less sexy tasks that are very important.
First, find out what your credit score is. This number is what lenders look at to see if you are worth the risk. The higher your credit score, the better your interest rate will be.
You want to get the best possible rate on your mortgage to save hundreds of thousands of dollars on interest payments. That means that if your credit score has a few blips, try to boost your credit score.
Determine What You Can Afford
A vital task on your first time home buyer guide is to figure out how much you can afford. There are many online calculators that can show you the monthly mortgage payments.
Don’t forget to think about the expenses that come with homeownership. Maintaining the property comes with owning a home. That means repairing issues inside and outside, maintaining the landscaping and lawn and so on.
Of course, the bigger the downpayment you have, the more home you can get. But there are other ways to help secure funding for your first home. Read more here about homeowner grants you may qualify for.
Gather Your Paperwork
Next on your home buying guide is collecting all the paperwork you’ll need to secure your mortgage loan.
You will need to show your personal tax returns for the past 2-3 years. Get your most recent pay stubs and credit card statements.
You’ll need bank statements and proof of your address and identification. Don’t forget savings and other accounts such as retirement accounts.
The best thing you can do is to collect these documents early. It will reduce the stress of hunting for these items when the clock is ticking.
Look for a Mortgage Lender
Once you have your paperwork in order, you can start comparing mortgage lenders to find one that suits you.
You may want to work with a mortgage broker who has access to various lenders and can show you several options.
The best thing you can do is shop around. Different mortgage rates and programs are out there. You want to find the best option for your situation.
Next, on your first-time home buyers guide is getting pre-approved. Once you’ve found the right mortgage, you can get pre-approved for a certain mortgage loan amount.
This piece of paper confirms that your lender has checked up on you and is willing to loan you x amount. You will want to have this when you start house hunting.
In a hot market, sellers won’t be willing to give you a few days to get your financing in order. Being pre-approved shows home sellers that you are able to buy their home.
Choose a Relator
Most people, especially first-time home buyers, choose to work with a real estate agent. This will make buying a home much simpler.
Ask your friends and family for referrals on real estate agents. Or choose the agent that has lots of sold listings in your neighborhood.
Interview your potential agents to make sure he or she has a personality that matches yours.
When you find your agent, sit down and discuss your wish list. Explain your most important features such as 3 bedrooms, a large backyard or within walking distance to public transit.
Your agent will then send you listings that fit your requirements.
Browse listings Online and in Person
Your agent will begin to send you listings that are within your budget and have the features you want.
You can see pictures and even take a virtual tour. Your best bet is to look at as many online listings as you can.
Then make a short list of the properties you really liked. Go see those properties in person. You can either go to their open house or book a private showing through your realtor.
Put in an Offer
The best task on your first time home buyer checklist is putting in offers. It’s so exciting to find a home you love that you can afford.
Then you make your best offer (with the help of your agent). If your offer is accepted, congratulations. If not, continue looking until you find a property that works for you.
Once your offer is accepted, it’s time to start packing. If you decide to hire movers, make sure you avoid these common mistakes.
Get a Home Inspection
As soon as your offer is accepted, book a home inspection. A home inspector will then come to the property and look for any issues.
He or she may find things that the sellers are required to fix. This could delay your closing date. So make sure to book this inspection as soon as possible.
Buy Home Insurance
Before you close on your new house, you need to get home insurance. You will need proof of insurance when you close on your home.
Contact your car insurance provider to see if they have savings when you bundle your car and home insurance.
Go For a Final Walk-Through
No more than a week before you get the keys to your new home, you should do a final walk-through.
This is your right as a buyer. It lets you inspect the home to make sure it is in the same condition as when you signed the paperwork.
Finally, you’ll get your keys and home ownership will be yours!
First Time Home Buyer Checklist
Congratulations! You have completed your first time home buyer checklist. Buying a home for the first time can be daunting. We hope this home buying guide gives you clarity on this topic.
Next, learn about how bedroom design affects your sleep, that way you can make your room a haven in your brand new home.