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Tips For First Time Homebuyers

Jan 11, 2008
For the average American, buying a home will be the biggest purchase you ever make. The thought of owing that much money can be quite daunting, especially if you don't make a lot of money or live paycheck to paycheck. But even taking this into consideration, buying a home is the best investment of your money that you can make for you and your family's future. In this day and age, most people are paying rent and all of the utilities anyway- so why not own your own home?

Once you are at a point that you feel you are ready to take that leap into home ownership, getting approved for the loan is the next big step. It is key to be sure that you do all of your research and not just take the first mortgage loan that you are approved for.

Before you even apply for a mortgage loan, sit down and figure out your budget so that when you apply, you know the amount of the mortgage payment that you can afford. Just because you are approved for a certain amount does not mean you can afford that amount!

The bank or mortgage lender should then be able to tell you what your price range for a home would be, based on the amount you can afford to pay for your mortgage payment.

Another thing that you will need to ask about is taxes. Taxes vary from location to location. Your taxes can be paid in one lump sum or they can be included into your mortgage. Including your taxes into your mortgage is highly recommended and sometimes required of first time home buyer's which could be to your advantage because you won't need to worry about coming up with a lump sum of money at one time. On that note though, it is very important that if you are going to build your taxes into your mortgage that you know how much that will increase your payment and if you are going to be able to afford that. If it makes your mortgage too much, you may want to consider lowering your price range of the homes that you will look at. Many people may be unaware of the fact that you can apply to multiple banks and mortgage loan businesses within ten days and it will only effect your credit score one time. Be sure to get a Good Faith Estimate from all of the establishments that you apply with and take them home and read EVERYTHING. Once you do that, you can then go with the one that offers you the best deal (ie, low fees, lowest interest rate, etc.)

Once you have your loan approved, it is time to shop for a house! Obtaining a Realtor is a good idea because they are professional's who know what they are doing and will be able to steer you in the right direction. They will also take all of your requirements you will need for your home and conduct searches for you and set up the showings for you also. Remember, they work for you. If they don't sell you a house they do not get paid so they will be more than willing to do what they can to meet your needs - especially in this volatile market with the housing market down, which is called a "buyer's market." This is to your advantage because housing prices are at an all time low. So you may be able to get more house for your money.
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