Buying your first home is so exciting – but it can be stressful as well, especially when you don’t really know what you’re doing. You’ve been saving up for a down payment for what seems like forever, and you don’t want to make any mistakes you may regret later.
According to a survey conducted by Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research Group, mortgage qualifications are a very “gray” area for consumers who often know very little or nothing about the requirements regarding minimum credit scores, minimum down payments, and more. Essentially, if you’re a first-time home buyer you simply don’t know what you don’t know! Our Dallas real estate professionals have a few tips to help you along the journey.
First, have an adviser help you understand if you’re truly ready to take the leap into home ownership. Whether an experienced real estate agent, lender, or housing counselor, you should seek help when you find a home you’re interested in (online or off). Nearly half of those who make an offer on a home don’t win the competition, which can be extremely disappointing. It helps to have an ally in your corner who understands the real estate market inside and out. Going it alone is one of the most common mistakes first-time buyers make!
Failing to shop mortgage quotes among different lenders. You never have to stick with a lender because you have been pre-approved or have worked with that lender. By not checking around to find out which loan terms may be best, you will spend more than you have to. About one third of shoppers fail to compare mortgage quotes among several lenders, according to Fannie Mae.
Shopping homes that are beyond your budget. We all love to dream, but you don’t want to find yourself in financial trouble in the years to come after buying a home you really can’t afford. Some real estate agents prefer not to show homes to buyers who aren’t pre-approved, which involves submitting tax returns, W-2s, loan applications, and other documents.
Even when you have been pre-approved for a specific amount, don’t automatically jump in and spend that much on a home. First, consider how much your other expenses are such as car payments, auto and health insurance, student loans, even groceries and clothing. You want to know how much your total expenses are compared to your income, so you don’t stretch yourself too thin.
At Team Nelson, we want to help first-time buyers make the right choices for their unique situation. If you’re thinking of buying a home in the Dallas area, contact our Flower Mound real estate professionals today! We want your experience to be a good one that will end in happily ever after.