Whether you’re a longtime renter or you’re just thinking about getting your first place and you want to buy, the home buying process is often overwhelming for first time home buyers. The process is thrilling and terrifying at the same time, and it’s next to impossible to know what to expect. Though the learning curve can be a bit steep, there are several ways to make the process go more smoothly.
Follow these five tips for first time home buyers for an easier first time home buying experience.
- Check your credit. When applying for a loan, the first thing the lender will check is your credit score. Look for mistakes, collection accounts and unpaid accounts, and correct any problems you find. Also, take a look at your available credit and compare that amount to how much you’re using each month. If you’re maxing out your cards, your score could suffer – even if you’re making your payments every month. If your credit needs some work, begin the repair process at least 6 months prior to shopping for a home.
- Evaluate your cash flow. As a first time homebuyer, you need to have a good idea of how much money is coming in and how much is going out. Ideally, you should track your spending for a few months prior to buying a home just to determine where your money is going to get a clear picture of what you can afford.
- Get organized. When you apply for a mortgage, you need several documents. You’ll need to show two recent pay stubs, W-2s and tax returns for the past two years, and two months of bank statements. Save yourself some time and frustration by gathering all your paperwork before you even think about applying for a mortgage.
- Get pre-qualified. Getting pre-qualified simply means you have a written statement from your lender stating the mortgage terms for which you qualify. The pre-qualification process lets helps you determine exactly how much home you can afford, and it makes you more appealing to sellers. The latter is, of course, especially important in hot markets where sellers commonly receive multiple offers.
- Find a real estate agent. Even if you aren’t quite ready to take the plunge, building a relationship with a trusted real estate agent is a good idea. Your agent will guide you through the buying process and, eventually, help you purchase the home that’s perfect for you. If you’re looking for a Boulder real estate agent, contact Realtor Terri Cox today by calling 720-548-2158.