Buying your first home is one of life's most exciting moments and a major financial achievement. But it's not always simple. In today's market, buyers are contending with high interest rates and lower inventory, so the house-hunting process can take some time. With a good real estate agent and a little patience, you can be well on your way to experiencing the exciting world of homeownership.
If you're ready to dive head-first into the real estate market, our real estate agents have these tips for you:
- Get A Pre-Approval Letter
If you're in the market for one of these Nassau County homes for sale, a pre-approval is the first step. A seller will also need to know you're able to obtain financing before accepting your offer. Shop around for a reputable lender with the best rates, and then ask for a pre-approval letter. After pulling your credit report and validating your documentation (W2s, pay stubs, and tax returns), they will tentatively approve financing your mortgage up to a certain amount. Pre-approvals are usually only good for 90 days.
- Know Your Budget
Before you can begin shopping for a home, you need to know how much you can spend. Unfortunately, closing costs and mortgage payments both consist of many different fees, so it can be hard to calculate exactly what you afford on your own. Work with your lender to fill out a cost estimate sheet. These sheets will help you calculate what you'll need upfront and what you'll pay per month based on your target price.
- Save For A 20% Down Payment If You Can
When buying a home, the down payment is often the largest expense. Most lenders will offer mortgages with down payments ranging from 3% to 20%, depending on your credit. While it may be tempting to choose a lower down payment, there can be cons to this approach. For one, a lower downpayment means higher monthly payments. You'll also be required to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI), and it will take longer for you to build up home equity. However, you should only put down 20% if you can afford to do so without draining your savings.
- Determine Your Nonnegotiables
We hope that you're able to find a home that checks every single box; however, this isn't always feasible, especially when buying your first home. Make a list of the five or six things that are nonnegotiable: budget, location, number of bedrooms, and number of bathrooms are usually top on most buyers' lists. Once you're clear about what you can't live without, you can better narrow your home search.
- Find The Right Agent For You
There are tons of real estate agents out there, and not all of them offer the same level of service. When trusting someone to support you through one of life's largest purchases, you want somebody you like and trust. Ask friends and neighbors for agent referrals and always interview candidates before deciding to work with them. Ask about years of experience, how many homes they have sold, and how they prefer to communicate with clients.
Buying your first home can require hard work upfront but living in a place you can call your own is definitely worth the effort. Contact us today to get started with your home search.