What is the first step in buying a home?
There are several ‘first steps‘, depending upon your personal financial situation.
If you do not have any savings available for down payment and/or closing costs, then your first step is to save every dime you can. Even if you are able to purchase with 100% financing, you’ll still have closing costs, appraisal and inspection fees, and other purchase expenses, as well as wanting to make your new home special, once it is yours.
If your credit has some blemishes, you’ll want to work to correct those. Make ALL payments promptly; wait until after you own your new home to buy that new car or other large expenditures, such as furniture, appliances, and recreational equipment.
For most people, the first step will be to become pre-qualified or pre-approved with a good loan officer. The loan officer will be able to help you correct items on your credit report (may require a few months, if you have several late payments). The loan officer will also be able to let you know which loan programs you qualify to use, what your purchase price limit is, what projected monthly payments will be, and how much cash you will need to have on-hand for down payment, closing costs, and reserves. Ask your favorite Realtor to direct you to a good, local loan officer who provides excellent service.
Once you have met with your loan officer, schedule an appointment to meet with your Realtor (Buyer’s agents) and discuss what you need in a home, as well as what you would like — and what would make it your dream home. You’ll work closely with your Realtor to find the right home.
Talk to your bank or a reputable mortgage company to see what you qualify to purchase…without that step you have no idea what your purchasing power is. Your Realtor can help you find a mortgage lender in your area. Good luck!