Buying your first home in Georgia can be both thrilling and nerve-wracking. It’s a major purchase so you’ll want to make sure that you do it right. To help you enjoy your first time buying a home, here are four rookie mistakes you should avoid.
Shopping for a home before getting a mortgage
You probably can’t wait to start looking at homes for sale in and around Atlanta, including Sand Springs and Roswell. But before you look for your first house, get preapproved for a mortgage. This will give you a realistic idea of how much home you can afford. It also lets sellers know that you’re a serious buyer.
Consult a mortgage professional to explore your financing options. There are several types of loans, some of which have different payment terms. And so, it’s important to pick the one that works for you.
The type of mortgage loan isn’t the only thing you should consider. Get to know different mortgage lenders, too. Banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions offer mortgages. The U.S. government also offers mortgage programs.
As you can tell, shopping for a mortgage can take time. The application process does, too. All things considered, get this done first before you begin your home search and make offers.
Exceeding your budget
You might be tempted to buy your dream house even if it exceeds your budget. But this is one thing you shouldn’t do.
Buying a house that you can’t afford makes the possibility of foreclosure greater if your financial situation becomes rough. Your finances may be rosy now, but your future circumstances could change. You should also keep rising interest rates in mind.
If most of your monthly budget goes to mortgage payments, you’ll also have less money left over for other expenses like groceries, bills, and utilities.
Get an estimate of your monthly mortgage payment. This will help you correctly integrate your monthly payment into your budget and help you stay in the black. Before you buy the house of your dreams, make sure that you can afford it pay for it over a long-term period. Otherwise, you may end up losing your dream home.
Overlooking loan assistance options
Like many first-time homebuyers, you may not have a lot of money saved up for your down payment and closing costs. Don’t let this delay you from owning your own home.
There are several mortgage options for first-time home buyers like you, such as the FHA loans offered by the Federal Housing Authority. One reason FHA loans are friendly to first-time home buyers is because it doesn’t have steep credit score requirements.
If you or your partner is an active-duty member of the military or a veteran, you may qualify for a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loan. These loans don’t require a down payment although you may have to spring for a funding fee. These loans are given by private lenders. Lender fees are capped to make sure that borrowing costs stay affordable.
You can also check out Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. It only requires a 3.5 percent down payment if you have a minimum credit score of 580. That said, you may have to get private mortgage insurance (PMI) with this type of loan to assure lenders.
Make sure to ask a reputable mortgage lender about available loans for first-time home buyers. This way, you’ll have all the information that you need to get the best loan for you.
Not consulting real estate professionals
You may think that you’ve gathered enough information to purchase your own home. But it’s best to consult qualified professionals with years of experience in the real estate industry. Work with an experienced and local real estate agent. And if needed, don’t hesitate to consult a loan officer, a lawyer, and other experts to help you make smart decisions.
These professionals can guide you through the ins and outs of home buying. Your real estate agent will advocate for you. Most sellers have a listing agent. As such, you should also have a buyer’s agent to protect your interests and make sure that you’re getting the best possible deal.
Learn more about the home buying process with your North Atlanta real estate experts, The Page Morgan Team. We have over 20 years of experience in helping buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals.