Having a checklist when buying a house as a first-time homebuyer can help you in more ways than you think! And besides, who doesn’t love a great checklist to follow? Check out the list we made for you and keep it in mind when you are looking to buy you first home.
1. Pull your Credit Report:
It’s important to pull a free credit report from annualcreditreport.com. This will show you how you can improve your credit and give you the opportunity to report anything that isn’t correct. You can pull your full credit report once a year from Experian or AnnualCreditReport.com.
2. Review Your Finances and Make a Budget
Map out what your monthly payments are today (rent, electricity, car payment, food, pets, etc.) and estimate what they will be after you buy your first home. Other key factors to think about are:
Income – What is your monthly income today?
Credit score – Do you pay your bills on time, are you in good standing with credit bureaus or do you have errors on your credit?
Debt – What monthly payments do you have that you need to consider? This includes things such as auto, insurance, rent, credit cards, child care, student loans.
Closing costs – How much money will you have/need at closing?
3. Get Pre-Approved Before You Start Your House Hunt
Getting pre-approved helps you to stand out and shows that a lender is confident in your homebuying ability. A pre-approval letter will strengthen your offer and show the seller you are serious about buying. Additionally, a pre-approval also gives you an idea of how much you can borrow, thus helps you shop smarter. Lastly, getting pre-approved identifies any potential issues before you make an offer.
4. Start Searching for your Dream Home
Now that you’ve been pre-approved and you know how much you qualify for, you can start the fun part! Checking online is a convenient and fast way to start your search for the perfect home. Now that you’re pre-approved, you can use the “price” filter (among others) in tools like Zillow and Redfin to get a good idea of what’s available in your price range! This is also a good time to start looking for a real estate agent. We have plenty of recommendations if you need help finding an experienced and local realtor.
5. Visit Open Houses & Tour Homes
Visiting homes in person versus just looking at photos online allows you to identify any potential issues in the home that may not be seen in pictures. This will also give you the opportunity to check out the features that are most important to you. Be sure to ask all the questions that come to mind while on a home tour and don’t forget to bring a measuring tape!
At Apex Home Loans, we understand that the homebuying experience can be stressful for anyone, especially first-time homebuyers. That’s why we’ve made it our goal to make the homebuying experience as pleasant and smooth as possible. Before you apply for a loan, it’s important to look over your finances and review your credit report. Have questions? Click the link below to connect with our team of mortgage experts!
Want a complimentary “Homebuying Toolkit"? Click here to request your Dream Big Box and we’ll send you a few things you’ll find handy while touring your potential new homes!