What First Time Home Buyers Need to Know
Deciding to purchase a first home can be an exciting and life-changing event. Most people make this decision once they have enough money for a down payment or the funds to make a cash purchase. While reasons for purchasing a home vary, typically, first time home owners no longer want to rent – or live with family. And the desire to move often entails the need for more space, a better neighborhood, an easier commute to work, or proximity to friends and relatives. With a shortage of housing inventory, it makes sense for a buyer to be thoroughly prepared before they decide to purchase. The following steps will help guide first time home buyers.
Step 1. Examine Your Finances -- Does a house fit your budget? According to Fannie Mae, buyers should spend no more than 28 percent of their income on housing costs. Go much past 30 percent and you risk becoming house poor. While a buying a house is a great way to build wealth, maintaining your investment can be labor-intensive and expensive.
Step 2. How Solid Is your Credit? -- Any blemishes on your record could affect your ability to secure a mortgage. It pays to look at your creditworthiness early in the home-buying process. Get your free annual credit report and comb through it for errors and unresolved issues. If you find mistakes, contact the credit reporting bureau to make sure they are corrected.
Step 3. Get All Paperwork Ready -- Before approaching a lender for a mortgage or before making an offer on a house, collect pay stubs, bank account statements, W-2s, tax returns for the last two years, statements from current loans and credit lines, and names and addresses of your landlords for the past two years. Have them ready to show to the lender.
Step 4. Find lenders and get preapproved -- Getting preapproved for a mortgage helps you bargain from a position of strength when you are house hunting. The institution where you bank and a local credit union are good places to start your search.
Step 5. Don’t Forget to Include Closing Costs When Budgeting -- The upfront cost of settling on your home shouldn't be overlooked. Closing costs include origination fees charged by the lender, title and settlement fees, taxes and prepaid items like homeowners insurance or homeowners' association fees.
Step 6. Work with a Qualified Real Estate Agent -- A professional agent can educate you about the real estate market in your desired area. What’s the available inventory? Are there homes in your price range? Does the agent have sales experience in your desired area, as well as strong negotiating skills to get you a house at the best price?
I am a professional real estate agent working in Queens, and I have helped many sellers and buyers in Queens and Long Island. I have also served as the president of a co-op board in Forest Hills.
I have lived in Queens my entire life, and I’ve had a successful career in public relations and sales, including more than 5 years as a licensed real estate salesperson. I offer a thorough knowledge of the communities I serve, including their schools, transportation systems, entertainment and shopping, and most importantly, available houses and apartments. I am well-versed in the exceptional training and preparation that sets Exit Kingdom Realty apart from its competitors. Market knowledge, consistent follow-up, enthusiasm and high energy are the hallmarks of my selling style.
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