Because buying a home is a big purchase, it’s important that first-timers don’t rush in. The first step is deciding what type of home a buyer wants. For instance, a condominium in a busy urban center may appeal to a young working couple, but they need to account for how their needs may change in the future. Do they plan on having children? Will they want to be able to remodel their home? A condominium may not be the best long-term decision. On the other hand, if a buyer is considering buying a property in a rural area, how will this affect their commute to work and access to stores, restaurants and public transportation? These are the types of questions buyers should consider.
Know what you can afford
A mortgage will likely be the greatest debt a borrower accrues over his or her lifetime. With this in mind, homebuyers should analyze their finances. This means thoroughly reviewing monthly expenses and figuring out whether adding mortgage payments to the list is a feasible option. One option for prospective buyers is to get preapproved by a mortgage lender. In this process, lenders estimate the maximum amount the borrower is eligible to receive. Not only will this help borrowers focus on homes that are within their price range, it can help speed up the process, as sellers are typically more interested in doing business with serious buyers. Online mortgage calculators, like those on www.macu.com, are also valuable tools that can help first-time homebuyers figure out how their expenses add up.
Lenders will require proof that a borrower is capable of paying off a loan, so it’s wise for borrowers to prepare the proper documents detailing their income, savings, investments and assets. Good credit is also an essential part of taking out a mortgage, so borrowers should prepare by ensuring that their credit reports are accurate. Borrowers can inspect their reports to see if there are any errors.
Take your time
Once a buyer finds the house they want and has obtained financing, it can be tempting to rush through the process to close the deal quickly. But buyers need to make sure their investment is worth the price, which means having the home professionally appraised and inspected. Preparing ahead for homeownership can make the buying experience an exciting—and less stressful—event. For more information, visit www.macu.com or call 1-800-748-4302.