What are the essential steps every first-time buyer should know?

http://www.WilmingtonNC-realestate.com

KeyIf you think it’s about time you bought a home instead of renting, a little homework before you start looking will increase your odds of finding the best buy for you. First, you must educate yourself about the home buying process. You can take a class or pick up books from your local library. Also be sure to read the real estate sections of your newspaper to familiarize yourself with properties and prices in your area. Consumer magazines that focus on the home can also be a good source of information.

Here are some things you will want to do:

  • Separate needs from wants

      What are your priorities for your next home? How important are public transportation, community facilities, on-street parking, lot size, privacy? How many bedrooms and baths will you need? Will you need a space for a home office? How important are quality neighborhood schools?

  • Investigate neighborhood prices

      What neighborhoods feature homes in your price range? Are there areas you may have overlooked? With the help of a trusted real estate agent, you may discover neighborhoods and home types you may not have considered. We’ll introduce you to a wide range of possibilities and help you find the home that best suits your needs.

  • Determine how much house you can afford

      It’s tough to home shop if you don’t know what you can afford. Together with a reputable lender, we can help you determine how much home you can afford and which loan program will maximize your buying power. Also, by getting pre-approved for a loan before you start looking for your first home, you’ll be a better prospect in the seller’s eyes.

  • Shop for the best loan

      Which type of loan is best for you? Will you be in the house several years and benefit most from a long-term fixed rate, or do you want a lower, short-term rate because you plan to move soon or expect your income to increase rapidly over the next few years? You may want to interview several lenders to learn about the many mortgages available.

  • Check out interest rates

      What are current local mortgage interest rates for 15-year and 30-year fixed rate mortgages, and for 1-, 3- and 5-year adjustable rate mortgages?

  • Dig up your down payment

      Know where your down payment cash will come from. If it’s coming from stocks, go ahead and sell them. If Aunt Mabel is loaning you the money, get it in hand so you are ready to go.

  • Relax and let an experienced real estate agent to help you through the process

    Buying your first home can be an overwhelming experience, but, with the help of a professional real estate agent, you can easily manage the process and confidently close the deal.

Chances are you can answer a couple of these questions on your own, but you may need some assistance with others. If you do, please call or e-mail us. We can make sure you have the preliminary house-hunting information you need.

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First Time? How To Buy The Most Home For YOUR Money | Wilmington NC

 

             www.cbbaker.com

{short description of image}You’re neither rich nor poor, and you’re ready to buy your first home. You look around. All those homes on the market! All seemingly priced out of reach!

Cheer up. You’re not alone. With some solid real estate counseling and some help from your lender and/or sellers and others, you can not only get your toe in the door, but you can own the house too. It just takes some creativity, a few inside tips and a bit of homework to buy a Wilmington NC home.

For starters:

Examine your goals

How ironclad are your dreams? Can your ideal of a formal dining room or a hot tub on a redwood deck be postponed? Must you have a two-car garage? Lowering your expectations and starting out modestly (in decent housing that meets your needs) can lead to owning those dreams — in time.

Start saving

Get your priorities straight. Without taking all the fun out of life, what’s more important to you, weekends on the road and dinners out or stashing away at least part of your down payment? (Most lenders want to see that some of the money you invest is your own.)

Keep your credit record clean

When you go mortgage shopping, lenders will be looking over your payment records. Don’t let a late-payment habit rise to haunt you. (Reformed late-payers can request creditors to erase the blots on their records — for a small fee.)

Look for financial assistance

Your parents and other relatives may be able and willing to give you gifts that will get you over the down payment hurdle. (Loans from relatives will be counted as debts and will lower the amount of mortgage payments your lender will allow you to carry.)

Get some co-signers

Parents, relatives (and unrelated investors) can either co-sign a loan or share the ownership of your home. With shared ownership, you’ll be the resident but your co-investor may share specified expenses (plus tax advantages and equity accrual), and will share in your profit on sale.

Shop for mortgage loans

Qualifying for a mortgage can be managed in several ways to fit your down payment and monthly-payment abilities. FHA and VA loans come with low down payment requirements, and lenders offer ARMs (adjustable-rate mortgages) at initially low interest rates. (Look for an ARM that can be converted to a fixed rate should rates drop.)

Consider creative financing

Also, new-home builders and other sellers may offer buy-downs that lower your interest rate in the first few years of a mortgage, thereby making a home more affordable. Balloon loans (if they have at least a 7-year term) can often bridge gaps and give you time to accumulate equity and/or cash to pay them off. Home sellers can sometimes help you financially — with a lease-purchase arrangement or a take-back loan. Lenders and sellers are constantly creating new ways to help buyers buy homes. We can help you check them out.

Look at starter homes

Once freed of the vision of “instant dream home,” you can look for housing that will start you on the equity-building path to realizing your dream. Condominiums and townhouses are often much less expensive than detached houses and buying one now can serve well as a stepping stone.

Search for bargains

If you’re handy with tools, a fixer-upper home gives you the opportunity to buy inexpensively, fix up and, in a few years, trade up. And if you’re adventurous, auctioned properties in suitable neighborhoods can also be good values. If you don’t mind a longer commute to work, outlying areas frequently offer homes at lower prices than those found close to town.

Whatever route you choose toward buying your first home, keep cool. It may take time to find the right combination of elements, but there is a home out there for you and a way to obtain it. We’ll be most happy to help you create your path to its door.

Call or e-mail us for more information on buying your first home.