It happens every day. First-time home buyers, partly due to enthusiasm or partly due to ignorance, make costly mistakes during the home buying process, like buying more house than you can reasonably afford. To help you keep your sanity and your cash, become an educated consumer and avoid the mistakes others have made before you. Here are a few common mistakes new home buyers should avoid:
Not planning ahead. From the moment you think about buying a home, start planning. Start by requesting a copy of your credit report. Carefully examine it for errors and be prepared to answer questions about items on your credit report. Talk to your mortgage lender before you attempt to rectify errors on your report – in some cases your attempts to rectify credit report errors can cause a delay in the approval of your loan. An Inlanta Mortgage loan professional can provide you valuable guidance when it comes to improving your credit score or correcting errors.
Are you currently renting? Check your lease for an early release clause. If you’ll be subject to penalties, try to time your closing with the expiration of the lease.
During this planning phase, consider your life over the next five to seven years. Do you plan to start a family? Will an in-law eventually move in with you? Will you be working from home? The number and layout of the rooms you require will depend on your answers. If you qualify for financing based on a dual income, will you be able to survive on one salary in order to fulfill a long-range plan, such as one parent staying home to raise a child? Once you’ve answered these questions, establish a plan. Then direct the process with reference to the plan. Don’t let the process dictate to you.
Failing to understand the home buying process. First-time homebuyers need to ask questions, lots of questions. Choose a real estate agent and mortgage professional who each have experience working with new home buyers. Experienced Realtors and financing professionals should be willing to explain the entire home buying process – from viewing homes, to negotiating, to financing, to escrow and closing in detail, and explain it again until you understand it.
Mistake # 3
Getting in too deep. It can happen when home buyers shop outside their budgets or over-extend themselves. What can you do to avoid getting hooked? Monitor your expenses for a couple of months. Then, based on your findings, develop a budget that truly reflects your lifestyle. Talk to a real estate agent who can provide insight into new home expenses and taxes. Then revise your budget.
Get pre-approved not pre-qualified
. Pre-qualification only tells how much you can afford. Pre-approval goes a step further. Your lender will thoroughly evaluate your application, including verifying employment information and financial disposition, then clear you for a loan of a determined amount. Having your loan pre-approved makes you more attractive to the seller – a definite advantage when competing with investors for properties.
More to Come
Since this is obviously not an exhaustive list – next week we will provide a few more first time home buyer mistakes to avoid. Need more information now? Contact a licensed mortgage loan professional at Inlanta Mortgage
. Our experienced team of loan officers can help you navigate through the home buying process and into the home of your dreams!
Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is fully delegated HUD-FHA including FHA 203K, VA, and USDA approved. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs. Review Inlanta’s mortgage loan programs here