First time homebuyer rules outlined by Miles D. Rusth
Buying a house can be an exciting process, a glimpse into your future life, and an opportunity to find a home to fall in love with and create memories. But without the right knowledge base and expectations, it can also be a brutal wake up call for those who are unprepared. Summit Mortgage seeks to guide you through a complicated transaction as easily as possible. Your life will be much easier if you follow these rules for first time homebuyers:
- Hire a realtor – Redfin and Zillow can be nice tools for finding houses in your budget and preferred location, but there is no comparison for an industry professional working on your side – and you won’t have to pay for anything. The seller typically pays all realtor fees, so it’s best to have an agent that represents your best interests and can help you find your dream house.
- Get pre-approved first – Before you even start looking at homes, get pre-approved for a mortgage. One of the most common mistakes we see at Summit Mortgage is people falling in love with a house that is out of their price range because of surprises on their credit history or not having realistic expectations. Getting pre-approved lets you know what your price range is so you don’t feel like you’re settling after looking at houses outside your limit.
- Calculate your down payment – Putting down a large down payment is one of the smartest investments that you can make. Not only will it help with paying off your mortgage quicker and reducing your monthly mortgage payments, but it provides great peace of mind when housing markets bubble.
- Know your comfort zone – How much are you able to spend on your mortgage each month? Great, share that with your mortgage banker. Knowing the amount you can afford for a down payment and monthly payments will allow you to narrow in on your price range. Knowing this figure makes house shopping much easier.
- Decide what is important to you in a house – “Location, location, location” is a cliché in the real estate world, but it’s one of the most important qualities. Look at your needs in a house first and make a list of “Deal-Makers” and “Deal-Breakers.” You might consider features such as a house with a view, a backyard, good schools and avoid crime or loud nearby railways. A good real estate agent can help you put these lists together. Which brings us to the next point…
- Surround yourself with a good team – Look for realtors and mortgage professionals who will listen to you and work on your behalf. Sellers pay the realtor commissions, so finding a real estate agent that will work for you is critically important. Do research. Look at reviews. Talk to friends that had great experiences. The best mortgage lenders should have lengthy experience and top flight customer service.
- Don’t pay off debt or move banks – Instead of paying off debt, it may help to have these funds for your down payment or closing costs. Also, if you change banks it may be difficult to access old statements and show the transfer to the new account.
- Have an open line of communication – Since you will be working with a variety of people throughout the process, make sure that everyone involved with the transaction (realtor, mortgage banker, etc.) is copied on every email. Everybody on your team should be willing to work openly if everyone is acting in your best interest, and this helps with getting your mortgage closed on time.
Other than that, be patient and don’t get stressed out. If you feel like you need help during this process, reach out to Summit Mortgage where we can help you with every step of the process. Even if you haven’t picked a realtor or started looking at home, pre-qualification or pre-approval are generally one of the first steps. Our experienced team can help guide you through the whole process with an emphasis on communication and customer service. Our job is to make sure that you get the best deal on your house with as little stress as possible!
Miles D. Rusth
Senior Mortgage Banker • NMLS 84660
Summit Mortgage Corporation • NMLS 3236